2007 Opel GT

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Opel Goes Roadster with the New Opel GT

Rüsselsheim, Germany, 2007 -- The modern definition of an athletic two-seater finds its form in the new Opel GT. As a classic roadster, it has a powerful front-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, a cockpit with sporty instruments and a tailor-made fabric roof. With a wide stance, sleek silhouette, long, front-hinged hood and short overhangs, the proportions are typical of this class.

2007 Opel GT2007 Opel GT

The Opel GT also brings new charm to this genre with its own unmistakable personality thanks to its exciting shape, which contrasts sharp edges with curved surfaces to create a dynamic look, and its configuration, which enables a refined driving experience, even on long journeys.

The Opel GT’s pricing is also attractive. For 30,675 euros (recommended retail price in Germany incl. VAT), customers get no less than 264 hp from the high-tech turbo engine with gasoline direct injection. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes less than six seconds. The new two-seater carries its legendary name because it continues the tradition of the first Opel GT (1968 – 1973) and, like the original, competes in one of the most exciting vehicle classes.

The new Opel GT also showcases the brand’s passion for dynamic cars, and the conviction that “Opel was never as young as today”. This is underlined by niche models with a high fun factor, such as the Astra GTC with panorama windshield, the Tigra TwinTop and Astra TwinTop cabrio-coupés, as well as the high-performance OPC family. They enrich the model portfolio and emotionalize the brand.

The development of the Opel GT is a prime example of transcontinental collaboration within GM. It stems from the decision to expand the concern’s portfolio with a compact, rear-wheel drive, sporty vehicle architecture that can be implemented globally. The first step towards realizing this idea was the Solstice concept car in 2002, followed a year later by the Vauxhall VX Lightning concept, which was conceived at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Coventry, England. Strongly inspired by the VX, the Opel GT has been adapted to the current Opel design language at the GM Design Studio in Detroit and the GM Europe Design Studios in Rüsselsheim under the direction of Bryan Nesbitt. The Opel roadster will be built at the Wilmington/Delaware plant in the USA, where its highly successful American GM sister models, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky, are also produced.

The new GT’s story is reminiscent of that of its classic predecessor. In 1968, the original Opel GT set an automotive manufacturing precedent in Europe when it became the first car to go into production after being debuted to the public as a concept study. The legendary American sports car, the Corvette, made the same start in 1953 in the USA. The new Opel GT shares some engineering characteristics with the current Chevrolet Corvette, such as part of the architecture.

Crisp, dynamic look with strong face

Sharp lines coupled with taut surfaces give the new Opel GT a crisp, dynamic look. Its strong face is dominated by the fender’s accentuated sweep, the bold chrome crossbar with integrated Opel logo, the elongated hood with brand-typical center crease, chrome-bordered vents and bold 3-D headlamps in clear glass look drawn deep into the side panels. The GT’s especially sporty characteristics include the long air vents in the hood, the grooving in the front fenders with their dynamic, Opel-typical horizontal contours − like on the Antara −, the double-pipe exhaust system and the twin air scoops behind the head restraints, which are reminiscent of designs from roadster and motor sport history. 18-inch aluminum wheels in new five-spoke design fill out the wheelarches, and emphasize the roadster character, as does the fabric roof, which completely disappears beneath a cover for open-top driving fun.

Chrome-ringed instruments in the cockpit clearly display all important information, while black piano lacquer and chrome finishes accentuate the high-tech nuance of the surface structures. These all combine with optional leather seats with visible stitching to highlight the sporty ambience. The short gear stick adds significantly to the driving fun: directly connected straight to the roadster’s five-speed transmission, its short gear travel enables quick gear shifts from the roadster-typical seating position.

High-tech turbo engine with direct injection and variable camshaft phasing

The new Opel GT does not just look quick, it is quick! Its longitudinally front-installed 264 hp engine with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection accelerates the roadster to 100 km/h from a standing start in just 5.7 seconds, and up to a top speed of around 230 km/h. “When it comes to high-performance roadsters, there is no better balance between price, driving enjoyment and fun,” says Alain Visser, Executive Director Sales and Marketing, Opel. There’s no question about it: no other Opel has ever produced 132 hp output per liter. The new Opel GT’s engine not only complements the car’s dynamic look perfectly, it also far outperforms today’s other roadsters and most two-seat sports cars.

High-tech features such as gasoline direct injection, twin-scroll turbocharger with intercooler, double camshaft phasing and twin counter-rotating balance shafts provide the basis for the 1998 cm3, four-cylinder engine’s impressive performance data. Maximum output of 194 kW/264 hp at 5300 rpm and high torque plateau of 353 Nm between 2500 and 5000 rpm ensure plenty of power in all situations. The GT requires an average of 9.2 liters of super unleaded gasoline per 100 kilometers. Jointly developed by GM Powertrain engineers on both sides of the Atlantic, the all-aluminum ECOTEC unit is based on the 2.2-liter direct injection unit available in the Vectra model range since 2004, and on the 2.0-liter turbo induction unit, which debuted in the Vectra GTS in spring 2003.

Chassis with classic sporty configuration

For the Opel GT, engineers designed a classic, sporty configuration based on a rigid chassis, wide track (front/rear: 1543/1561 mm) and long wheelbase of 2415 mm: all four wheels are suspended from twin A-arms made from forged aluminum, the center of gravity is low, and the weight distribution of 51:49 percent (front/rear) is well balanced.

A manual five-speed transmission with sporty, short gear travel and limited slip differential provide propulsion power. A torque beam between the transmission and rear axle suppresses reactions to acceleration/deceleration effects.

While disk brakes on all wheels, ABS, Traction Control (TC) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) monitor safety, the driver can control the level of ESP and use of TC himself. Both systems are fully active after ignition, with the setup providing driving fun but also keeping the vehicle stable within the physical limitations. At the touch of the ESP button in the instrument panel, the Traction Control (TC) is switched off, but ESP remains active and intervenes as soon as the yaw angle exceeds certain thresholds. Two short presses change the ESP’s calibration to a sportier mode and keep the Traction Control (TC) deactivated. Pushing and holding the ESP again for around ten seconds until the “ESP Off” symbol illuminates, completely deactivates ESP and TC. A short press of the button in any mode returns the two systems to their normal states, which also occurs automatically with each new engine start. A display and control light in the instrument panel keeps the driver informed about the current status of both systems.

Stiff vehicle structure with center tunnel and side members

The typical roadster vehicle architecture was designed from the beginning to meet the special demands of an open-top, two-seat sports car without compromise. The vehicle structure, which consists of hydroformed side members and a supporting center tunnel made from drawn sheet steel, provides a solid basis for the car’s precise handling and passive safety. The hydroforming forging technique, in which components are manufactured from steel with the help of high water pressure, is already employed in automobile construction for chassis components in the Opel Vectra and Opel Astra.

Only the legendary American Corvette sports car is also based on hydroformed side members. But the Opel GT also breaks new ground in another regard: the GT model family belongs to the first car line produced in significant numbers to have numerous exterior parts made using a procedure that is relatively time-consuming, but provides designers with greater creative freedom. The hood is one example: thanks to unconventional hydraulic technology − known as super forming − the long hood section with its front hinges was optimally integrated into the roadster’s silhouette without a gap between the hood and fender.

Extensive standard equipment

Extensive standard equipment in the Opel GT includes:

* 18-inch alloy wheels with 245/45 R 18 tires
* Anti-lock Braking System ABS
* Electronic Stability Program ESP (can be adjusted and switched off)
* Traction Control TC (can be switched off)
* Two-stage airbags for driver and passenger
* Occupant detection for passenger seat (with cockpit display)
* Three-point safety belts with pretensioners and belt-force limiters
* CD-Radio (six loudspeakers, steering wheel remote controls, MP3 player connection)
* Power exterior mirrors
* Power windows
* Power height-adjustable driver’s seat
* Cruise control
* Air conditioning
* Leather steering wheel and gearshift knob
* Manual soft top with heated rear glass window
* Fog lamps
* Remote control central locking, including remote trunk-lid release

The first Opel GTs will be on the road in March 2007 and dealerships have been accepting orders since summer 2006.

Opinions on New Opel GT

Carl-Peter Forster,
President General Motors Europe:
“Develop and build cars with passion − nothing better defines what drives our team. And our customers will feel our passion when they start up the new Opel GT. With the new roadster, we now have an impressive and multifaceted large portfolio of niche products, including the Tigra and Astra TwinTops, which all offer open-top driving fun in their own unique way.”

Hans Demant,
Managing Director, Adam Opel GmbH and GME Vice President, Engineering:
“The new Opel GT is a prime example of the technology and design potential that our growing global cooperation within GM offers. We can develop products based on joint vehicle architectures, which not only boast brand-specific characteristics and are worthwhile in smaller production runs, but also enhance the Opel image.”

Bryan Nesbitt,
Executive Director Design, GM Europe:
“Designing a roadster is one of the treats of the profession. You know from day one it must exude emotion and fashion beyond all else. The Opel GT is more than a car, it suggests a lifestyle."

Alain Visser,
Executive Director, European Opel Marketing:
“An absolute dream car, and thanks to its attractive, affordable price starting from 30,675 euros, it’s a dream that can come true. The new Opel GT concept is in line with its legendary predecessor, and with a powerful turbo engine, the purebred roadster enjoys an exceptional place in its segment.”

Chris Pinn,
Chief Engineer, Model Line:
“In the development division, our enthusiasm for the new Opel GT knew no boundaries: we constantly had to keep an eye on the keys to the prototypes!”

Opel GT: New Icon in Roadster Scene

* With 264 turbo hp for 30,675 euros, new GT offers plenty of power for the money
* Ample fresh air and driving enjoyment means lots of roadster fun for two
* Legitimate heir to the ’68 cult coupé

With a wide stance, long, front-hinged hood, sleek silhouette, bold rear, cockpit for two and a tailor-made fabric roof, which completely disappears under a cover, the new athletic two-seat Opel GT storms into a segment that is charged by emotion more than any other. As a clear commitment to pure driving fun, the GT is a roadster that perfectly fits into the Opel model range, even if its goal is not top marks for luggage compartment space, flexibility or family suitability: the new two-seater continues a tradition first started by the Opel GT in 1968.

The new Opel GT also showcases the passion for building dynamic cars, and the conviction that “Opel was never as young as today”. This is underlined by niche models with a high fun factor, such as the Astra GTC with panorama windshield, the Tigra TwinTop and Astra TwinTop cabrio-coupés, as well as the high-performance OPC model family. They enrich the model portfolio and emotionalize the brand.

But the GT would not be a true Opel if it did not also appeal to customers’ more practical side. “When it comes to high-performance roadsters, there is no better balance between price, driving enjoyment and fun,” says Alain Visser, Executive Director Sales and Marketing, Opel. The new GT also follows in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to its 30,675 euro price tag. At 10,767 German marks, the first GT also caused a sensation with its price in 1968. At that time, this was equivalent to roughly 10 months’ average gross wages; around 490 euros a month today. Almost 40 years later, the price ratio for the new GT is now even somewhat improved. Today, the average wage has risen to 3500 euros, and while buyers no longer get a steel roof, they do get almost three times the power of the 90 hp GT 1900.

The legend lives on

The legend of an affordable sports car lives on. The new two-seater has the advantage of being designed on roadster architecture right from the start. The original GT from the 1960s was based on a pre-existing Opel sedan model. The reason for this was the limited production capacity at the time. In order to undertake assembly at the Bochum plant, the ’68 model had to be based on the Kadett. The bodies were produced in France, and the sale of one of the plants to a competitor in the automotive industry was a key reason for ceasing production in 1973. Up to that point, 103,000 units had been built. The new 2007 Opel GT will be built in the roadster plant in Wilmington/Delaware in the USA, together with its highly successful American GM sister models, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky.

The only extra apart from brilliant or two-coat-metalic-paint is the Premium package, which costs 1285 euros. It includes leather upholstery in ebony black or cobalt red/black, and a CD-Radio with 6 x CD changer. An original Opel wind deflector and tailored luggage set are also available.

The first GTs will be on the road in March 2007 with prices starting from 30,675 euros (recommended retail price ex works incl. VAT in Germany). Dealerships have been accepting orders since summer 2006.

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Source: Opel

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