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First Look: Retro-Futuristic Opel GT Concept

Sports car prototype to share Geneva stage with Mokka X SUV.

by on Feb.18, 2016

The Opel GT Concept will make its formal debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

German-based Opel doesn’t have much visibility in the U.S. market, but it could generate quite a buzz here – as well as in the home European market – when it formally unveils its new GT Concept at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.

The original Opel GT, dating back to the 1970s, was one of the few – and last – models imported under that brand name, though Opel designs have since made it across the Atlantic and shared with sibling General Motors brands. The old Saturn Astra and the new Buick Cascada convertible are two examples.

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The new Opel GT Concept harkens back to the original 2-seat sports car concept, the Opel Experimental GT, of 1965. It was followed a year later by the Vauxhall XVR from Opel’s British twin. A production version went on for a five-year run, from 1968 to 1973.

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Opel Debuts New Astra Sports Tourer, Surf Concept in Frankfurt

by on Sep.14, 2015

Opel's new Astra Sports Tourer is a significant upgrade over the old model due to 200kg in weight savings.

As Opel continues its quest to return to prominence in Europe, it’ll need to rely on creating demand for its staple vehicles like the Astra. If the two new Astra variants at the Frankfurt Motor Show are any indication, the brand is on the right track.

Opel showed off its new hatchback and touring models as well as its Vivaro Surf concept that may find a home on European roadways in the near future.

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The Astra line-up gets two of the vehicles: a hatchback and the Sports Tourer, which is a significant upgrade over its predecessor. It gets a new exterior look, plus it weighs less and offers more interior room. All of these improvements come with a slew of new options like matrix LED headlights, a hands-free power tailgate, and OnStar system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (more…)

First Look: Opel’s 2-Seat Battery Car

Targeting "green" teens.

by on Sep.08, 2011

Is Opel thinking about building this battery-powered 2-seater? It says it just might.

Opel aims to appeal to a new generation of eco-friendly buyers with the radical 2-seat battery car it plans to introduce at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

With a body looking something like an enclosed motorcycle – albeit with four wheels – the maker suggests the unusual concept has “production potential” and would “create a new class of lightweight, zero-emissions electric vehicles in the UK and Europe.”

Who might be interested?  An Opel release suggests it would target “younger drivers and those on a very tight budget.”

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Opel isn’t offering up many details yet – not even the name of the new show car – but it suggests it is “inspired” by the new Opel Ampera plug-in electric vehicle which recently debuted in Europe.  The sister to America’s Chevrolet Volt just garnered honors as the car of the year choice of influential British magazine What Car.

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Volkswagen Nils Concept One of Many Odd Microcars Coming to Frankfurt.

Going solo.

by on Sep.08, 2011

VW is betting commuters wouldn't mind going solo as it reveals the Nils one-seater.

How small is too small? That seems to be one of the challenges that automakers are taking on as they prepare to roll out a flood of microcars during the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

There are four-seaters not much bigger than the Smart fourtwo, two-seat concepts that turn to tandem seating to deliver an even smaller profile, and for those that are happy going solo, Volkswagen will officially unveil the pod-like Nils.

The VW Nils concept is about 20 inches shorter than the Up!, the new microcar that the German maker will soon put into production, the smallest offering in its line-up.  The face of the new show car is designed to be easily recognized as a Volkswagen but it features some interesting new touches, including the gullwing doors and the black surround that integrate front and rear bumpers.

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It’s not the first time we’ve seen an automaker propose what might be called the ultimate in truly personal transportation.  Over the years, Toyota has come up with some truly quirky one-seat designs at the Tokyo Motor Show – an event famous for its strange machinations.  The most recent from the Japanese maker seemed to take inspiration from the ubiquitous Japanese vending machines, dispensing its occupant almost like a package of gum.

By that measure, the VW Nils is almost conventional in design, though that word will not likely be thrown around much at the Frankfurt debut.

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