First Look: 2010 Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept

Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept

Although we still haven't seen photos of the actual concept car, Opel decided to release additional information and images of its new Flextreme GT/E show car, which will debut at the 2010 Geneva motor show in March.

In a sense, think of the GT/E as a Chevrolet Volt in a much sexier wrapper. GM has publically toyed with the notion of amortizing the cost of its Voltec hybrid system across several models (the Converj, for instance, will likely join the Cadillac lineup), and the Flextreme is but one possibility (a facelifted Volt, called the Ampera, is already slated to reach Europe in the coming years).

Although it likely rides on the same compact car platform as the Volt, the Flextreme is slightly longer and wider than its siblings. Styling borrows plenty from recent Opel design concepts (particularly the 2007 Flextreme concept) but we see some influence from the Corvette Stingray concept in the GT/E's front fascia. GM says function doesn't follow form -- in fact, aerodynamic panels extend from the car's rear fender vents to help direct air around the car's rear fascia at speeds above 31 mph.

Underneath that swoopy skin, however, is the same extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) powertrain GM has demonstrated over the past few years. A T-shaped, 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack lurks underneath the cabin, which feeds a 120-kW motor driving the front wheels. The battery can propel the car up to 40 miles on a single charge, but a 1.4-liter I-4 combustion engine can come online to help recharge the battery for longer drives.

We'd love to see something like the Flextreme roam European streets in the years to come, but admittedly, the car's chances at reaching production are nothing short of a mixed bag. GM may be looking to create as many Voltec vehicles as possible to help reduce costs, but as we've seen over the past few months, Opel (along with its British cousin, Vauxhall) has many other hurdles to clear before thinking of adding a second EREV to its portfolio.

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