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Old 03-02-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default Vauxhall Opel Flextreme GT/E in the metal.

These are the first pictures of the Vauxhall Opel Flextreme GT/E in the metal.

The sleek and futuristic five-door coupe that will be displayed at this year’s Geneva motor show is intended to utilise the Ampera’s plug-in hybrid powertrain, and is described by design director Mark adams as “a new kind of GT car”.

The car’s creators have set out both to suggest a possible direction for a future Opel Vauxhall flagship and to progress the bold design language that has grown up with the recently launched Insignia and Astra models.

It also demonstrates the potential of sophisticated aerodynamics in future. The Flextreme GT/E’s long, elegant roofline is 19cm lower than an Insignia’s, which helps its drag factor come out at just 0.22. Drag is significantly reduced by movable aerodynamic “blades” on either side of the car near the tail lights, which deploy automatically at speed to keep airflow attached as long as possible, while allowing the designers more visual flexibility than a conventional cut-off tail.

The Flextreme GT/E, an exterior study only, offers a similar interior space to an Insignia, though it shaves 7cm from the production car’s overall length, and is much lower. The extended wheelbase (2900mm-v-2735mm) helps here, and helps accommodate the battery pack ahead of the car’s rear wheels. There are some nice design features, such as an electric cocket behind the car’s pull-out badge and a fingerprint recognition system for starting.

Drive comes from the Ampera’s 158bhp electric motor, which also develops more than 270lb ft of torque from standstill, and goes to the 21-inch front wheels that wear relatively modest 195/45 tyres in pursuit of efficiency.

When charging is needed, the 1.4 litre, 70bhp charging motor kicks in. Opel Vauxhall engineers estimate a battery-only range of 35 miles, and a total range around 300 miles, at an average CO2 output of around 40g/km. Top speed is estimates at 125mph, with a 0-62 mph sprint time of around nine seconds.

Mark Adams won’t confirm Flextreme GT/E as anything close to a new production model, but insists it has an important purpose. “It’s a vision of the future,” he says, “not a mere flight of fancy.

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