The Chevy Volt is costing GM a pretty penny to produce, and GM execs like Bob Lutz think the company will continue to lose money on hybrids for years to come. But one way of offsetting those costs is to delegate the Voltec technology across brands to other markets. We already know GM is planning on making the Cadillac Converj. And now GM has just unveiled another voltec platform-based concept for its Euro-brand, Opel, ahead of the Geneva Auto Show.
Called the Opel Flextreme GT/E, it is a very muscular looking sedan with a sleek drag coefficient. The GT/E seats four and incorporates some rather surprising performance enhancers, like a rear spoiler that deploys at high speed to keep drag down.
For a sedan, the GT/E looks surprisingly coupe-like. This was due to Opel’s designers wanting to keep drag as low as possible. Low drag equates to better fuel mileage at the end of the day, and it is one of the easiest ways to improve fuel efficiency. That is the same idea behind the rear spoiler, which pushes the car’s rear end down on the ground at higher speeds. The top half of the front grill is open to allow some air for cooling, but the bottom is covered by a translucent panel. Another very cool feature is active “shape-shifting,” such as deployable side-spoilers that help the GT/E slice through the wind. Rear-hinged back doors allow easy access to the back while promoting the “coupe” look.
But the sporty looks belie a sporty power train. The GT/E shares the Volt’s Voltec extended-range powertrain. A small gas-engine powers an electric motor, and like the Volt the GT/E can drive a short distance on electric-only power. The GT/E’s electric-only range is about 37 miles (the Volt has a 40 mile range) and has a total extended range of over 300 miles. The sprint from 0-62 mph is expected to take under 9 seconds… not exactly sports car quick, but fast enough for most people. The 270 ft-lbs of instant torque from the electric motor will certainly help the GT/E at least feel fast.
The active shape-shifting is the neatest feature, but personally, I think this looks better than the Volt. What say you?