Due to sluggish sales in Europe over the past few years, General Motors announced recently that it plans to move the Opel brand upmarket to better compete with Volkswagen, leaving Chevrolet as GM’s European volume brand. A new concept called the Opel Monza hints at a new styling direction for the German brand as it attempts to make a profit in the higher echelons of the European market. Initial photos of the car, pictured with Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, show a low-slung, wide coupe with a wide new grille design and slit-like headlights, suggesting a more modern, clean look for Opel.
The Monza name refers to a rear-wheel-drive coupe model of the Opel Senator executive sedan that was produced from 1978 to 1986 and was the first car with a digital dash display. Opel says the Monza Concept follows in these technologically innovative footsteps as the car focuses on two main elements: efficiency and connectivity.
Opel is stingy on the specifics of these two ideals but says efficiency and connectivity will be the focus for all next-generation models going forward. On the Monza Concept, Opel mentions aerodynamic innovations, lightweight materials, and a “ground-breaking powertrain solution;” we’ll learn more about what this means when the Monza Concept makes its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Opel may not be a familiar name in the United States anymore, but more of GM’s European offerings have been making their way across the pond in the form of Buicks like the Regal, Verano, and Encore, which are almost identical to the Euro-market Opel Insignia, Astra, and Mokka. At this point it is unclear how Opel’s shift upmarket will affect U.S. offerings, but chances are we will see this new design direction on future Buicks as GM has said that the Opel and Buick lineups will be further integrated in the next few years.