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Future Car - Opel

Updated on February 21, 2012
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Opel AmperaAmpera interiorAmpera with Segway bay and two of the personal mobility vehicles
Opel Ampera
Opel Ampera
Ampera interior
Ampera interior
Ampera with Segway bay and two of the personal mobility vehicles
Ampera with Segway bay and two of the personal mobility vehicles

Opel Flex Vehicle (Ampera)

Opel, in coopreation with General Motors, has introduced the Ampera (or is it Flextreme?) as a diesel plug-in series hybrid concept car.

It can travel thirty-four (34 mi) miles on its lithium-ion battery (only) before a small one point three (1.3L) liter diesel engine starts charging the batteries. As such it is a considered a series hybrid (in Europe) and "range extended" in the U.S.The thirty-four mile range also means most Europeans can drive their daily commute (recharging at the office) without the engine ever starting up.

The Ampera uses the same (basic) platform and technology (Voltec) as the Chevrolet Volt, but with a diesel, rather than gasoline, engine. With the combination engine and lithium-ion battery pack the Ampera is expected to cover four-hundred forty-four (444) miles (715 kilometers) between fuel stops.

In January 2008, GM presented a Saturn version of this concept at the North American International Auto Show. The car was presented as the Saturn Flextreme.

The Opel Ampera is expected to emit 40 grams of C02 per km or less. As with the Chevrolet Volt, the Ampera will run on batteries only with the diesel engine recharging the batteries on demand. As such it is not a true hybrid by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards. GM refers to these vehicles as "range extended."

The Ampera can be recharged in three (3)* hours a 220 Volt electrical socket. When the car has depleted the batteries, a diesel engine operates at constant speed to provide the electricity and recharge the battery pack. The diesel itself uses new technology with piezo pressure sensors in each cylinder to monitor combustion pressures. The Ampera's engine control computer can then automatically adjust the amount of fuel metered to the fuel injectors in real time. This will help reduce pollutants and improve fuel economy.

This Opel offering features a full glass roof, four doors (the two rear being "suicide doors") and luggage compartment doors that hinge in the middle and swing up and out of the way. Because there is no central pillar between front and rear doors, opening both provides easy access to the interior. The Ampera will also offer underfloor cargo space and a Zafira inspired seating system (see video at upper right).

* In the attached video, the presenter claims two and one half (2.5) hours.

Coda

With General Motor's sudden reversal (November 3, 2009) on the sale of Opel to Magna both the company and it's employee's futures seem to be in limbo. Updates when available.

Opel Ampera Internals

Opel Ampera Exterior Design

Comments

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  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR

    LiamBean 

    8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Abimbola: I agree and thanks for the comment.

  • profile image

    ABIMBOLA AJIBOLA 

    8 years ago

    I think it's high time opel should proved itself. It's really a great thing to hear and see.

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR

    LiamBean 

    8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    gadfly: Thanks for the comment.

    I doubt it. In fact this may be the best thing for Opel considering GM's atrocious stock performance of late. In fact the German government has pledged 2.1 billion (with a B) in financing to support the sale.

    Magna International Inc., for it's part, paid one billion dollars (in Euros) to acquire Opel from GM. Opel is not sitting pretty, but it will remain afloat.

    GM on the other hand, maybe not.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20090530/AUTO01...

  • profile image

    gadfly 

    8 years ago

    Is there a shift in gears for Opel now that GM has sold this division to a Canadian auto-parts manufacturer? I received my International Drivers license, learning to maneuver an Opel station wagon on the German Autobahn.

  • LiamBean profile imageAUTHOR

    LiamBean 

    8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks Jerilee: When I was in Israel about twelve years ago, the Opel was the second most popular car for taxi service. They weren't large, but comfortable and reliable. The first most popular was Mercedes.

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 

    8 years ago from United States

    Whoa! When I saw the picture of the Opel, I could not believe my eyes! Back in the 1960s an Opel was my first car that I learned to drive on. It was ugly and orange, and definitely nothing to write home about.

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