This is the new sports car concept from Opel it’s been teasing us with for the last month. Called the GT concept, those red bits are there on purpose.
Powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and pointing towards a potential production future, the GT concept will form the centrepiece of Opel’s stand at the 2016 Geneva motor show on 3 March.
Stylistically, with its classic long-bonnet, short-front-overhang sports car proportions, the GT Concept takes some of its inspiration from the 1966 Vauxhall XVR concept, shown at the Geneva motor show a neatly appropriate 50 years ago.
The doorhandles and mirrors and mirrors have been ruthlessly shaved off in pursuit of clean, minimal surfaces. Instead, cameras on the trailing edge of the wheelarches link to monitors on the left and right of the cabin, and the electric-powered doors open via a touchpad on the roof. Their unusual mounts enable them to swing partially into the front arches, allowing a larger opening angle in tight spaces.
Clever tinting work makes the side windows appear to flow into the roof without a visible join between glass and painted surface, and likewise the windscreen flows into a glass roof, bordered by some seriously bright red paintwork.
In Opel’s words, the scarlet tyres and pillars ‘pay homage in an avant-garde way to the Motoclub 500, a futuristic Opel motorcycle from 1928 that wore red rubber.’ So there you go.
A front-mounted turbocharged engine powering the rear wheels via a semi-automatic sequential gearbox. Long bonnet or not, the engine beneath it is smaller than you might imagine. It’s a 1.0-litre triple-cylinder with 107kW and 205Nm, a development of the same all-aluminium engine found in various derivatives of the Adam, Corsa and Astra.
Mounted low and behind the front axle line, the lightweight engine helps keep the kerbweight below the 1000kg mark. Vauxhall projects a 0-100kph time below eight seconds and a top speed of 215kph.
Opel describes the GT Concept as a ‘template for future sports cars,’ so don’t rule out a potential production future for this latest GT-badged design. Do expect the proportions to become a little less dramatic, however. And we wouldn’t worry too much about the difficulties of finding replacement red tyres down at Kwik Fit either...