First Sketch: Opel/Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E Concept

MEET the latest incarnation of Vauxhall's electric dream! This is the Flextreme GT/E, a striking five-door luxury coupe concept that will be the star of the firm's stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

Previewing a future Vauxhall design direction with a lightweight body made of aluminium and composite materials, it gets a more powerful version of the Ampera's plug-in hybrid range extender that allows a top speed of 125mph and 0-60mph in nine seconds.

Produced over the last twelve months by design director Mark Adams and his team in Russelsheim, Germany, it points the way forward to a future large flagship for the range, as well as showing how the firm's electric powertrains are developing.

As you can see, it's a remarkable looking car with a low roofline – some 19cm lower than the Insignia's – complete with bold recessed headlights, a wide grille and a dramatic waistline that kicks up over the rear wheels. This detail hides movable aerodynamic 'blades', which automatically deploy to keep the airflow attached at the rear, drastically reducing drag. Overall, the Flextreme GT/E has a drag factor of just 0.22 – a figure Adams believes could go even lower.

Similar in size to an Insignia, the concept uses aluminium and carbon composite materials to reduce weight to a similar level to the Ampera. Speaking to Auto Express, Mark Adams said: "Whether these details will make it onto a production car is down to cost. But I could certainly invisage active aero aids and exotic materials on a more expensive top end car."

Power comes from an uprated version of the Ampera's E-REV pack, with a 161bhp electric motor hooked up to a range-extending 70bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine, which kicks in when charging is required. Some 370Nm of torque is sent to 21-inch front wheels which feature narrow 195/45 tyres. Vauxhall engineers estimate a battery-only range of 40 miles, a total range of around 300 miles and an average CO2 output of just 40g/km. Top speed is 125mph while 0-60mph takes around nine seconds.

There's every chance the Flextreme GT/E will make it into production sitting above the Ampera in Vauxhall's range. Expect its design details to feature on upcoming models too. "This is not a flight of fancy. This is to electric cars what the Insignia was to our prodcution car portfolio. A flagship," Adams told Auto Express.

Expect to see more concept cars based around the architecture too. Adams reckon they'll be great to look at as well. "Flextreme GT/E is just one expression of our intent. The design of the E-REV pack allows much more design freedom. Packages could become smaller, with reduced bulk around the nose, allowing us to improve design and meet tough pedestrian protection laws."

We'll learn more about the Flextreme GT/E at Geneva on March 2nd.For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
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