Made in Melboune and sent to the Geneva motor show, the Opel GT Concept could return to our shores as a production MX-5 competitor for Holden.
Although the GT Concept is designed in collaboration between GM’s design studios both here and in Russelsheim, Germany, the slinky one-off two-door was built locally and photographed atop Holden headquarters in Port Melbourne.
The GT Concept uses a front-mid-mounted 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine with 107kW and 205Nm, powering the rear wheels via a “sequential” six-speed transmission operated by paddleshifters. It even gets a “mechanical” differential lock, which we home to mean of the proper limited-slip variety.
There’s no need to fret about the lack of displacement, because this boosted show car weighs less than 1000kg, can accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than eight seconds and hit a top speed of 215km/h.
On paper it sounds like a turbocharged MX-5 and that’s clearly the philosophy General Motors’ European arm is going for.
Opel is touting the GT Concept as a reinvention of its brand, which overseas has stagnated other than producing a few sporty variants on the side – the Astra VXR and Insignia VXR of which we get here.
According to the brand, “The sportscar is avant-garde yet puristic, renounces everything that disturbs the pure form … breathtaking in its shape, reduced to the bare essentials, pure passion.” Sounds to us like it could have come from Hiroshima.
While the name ‘GT’ references a stylish Opel coupe from the late 1960s that we never saw locally, it cites the long bonnet, lack of a bootlid and twin centre exhausts as harking back to the original. Otherwise, though, “The Opel GT Concept is independent with no sign of retro-design.”
The front doors open ‘into’ the front guards, exposing the front wheelarches that pack a cheeky red-walled tyre design meant to evoke roller skates. The GT Concept is fluid in its form, with a red character crease drawing from the roofline towards the front wheelarch the highlight. The front grille and headlights look classically Opel/Euro-Holden in design.
Opel insists that not only will the “sculptural artistry meets German precision” styling of the GT Concept directly influence other future models, but the concept itself is a signal of things to come from the brand.
That’s handy for us in Australia when the next-generation Commodore will hail from Opel in Europe. Hopefully this rear-drive coupe will follow in production form and wear a Lion on its low nose.
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