Autocar Drives Vauxhall GT X Experimental EV


Don’t think of it as a production car.

The Vauxhall GT X Experimental isn’t an electric car anyone can buy. Clearly a concept, one could think of it as a sort of scout. Its mission is to find a way forward as the automotive landscape turns electric. The twinned Anglo-German brand previously showed us the concept wearing the Opel logo. Now, it’s invited journalists to have another look at it with Vauxhall badging and even take it for a spin.

Ahead of the drive within the confines of the large aircraft hanger where the demonstration was being held, Autocar spoke with design director Mark Adams who helped illuminate the vehicle’s context:

Don’t think of the GT X as a production car. It’s more important than that. We call it a brand manifesto – a representative of our design vision for the company’s whole portfolio.

This “design vision,” we have to say, is pretty attractive. The front and rear doors swing open and apart from each other to reveal an airy cabin. The lack of a B-pillar further enhances the effect, which we appreciate. The GT X Experimental sits on a “skateboard” that includes a 50-kWh battery. This adds the rigidity needed to more safely delete that element.

From behind the wheel, the view is also expansive with the glass of windshield sweeping up into the roof. A large TFT screen, dubbed the “Pure Panel,” extends across a good portion of the dash and battles for your attention. Besides containing the vehicle’s speed and other information pertinent to the driver, it shows a map with the car’s range visually depicted. Autocar calls the clarity of it “exceptional.”

But how is it to drive?

Concept vehicles are notorious for not being especially drivable. The sporty compact crossover  — dare we add the “coupé descriptor” — here is no exception. While it takes off with the silence and aplomb we expect from an electric vehicle, the steering of the car is said to be pretty wooden and lacking “self-centering.” Additionally, regenerative braking was not available.

The drive was not especially revelatory of what Vauxhall customers might expect from future battery-powered product. With almost a century of automobile-building experience, though, they are likely to have that aspect sewn up in production vehicles. More important, perhaps, is the basic design of the thing. Luckily, they’ve provided a number of images featuring the GT X Experimental which we share with you in the gallery below.

13 photos

Source: Autocar

Categories: Opel / Vauxhall


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15 Comments on "Autocar Drives Vauxhall GT X Experimental EV"

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I know it has the battery pack underneath, but the lack of a B pillar would raise some safety questions in my mind. Suppose you were to get broadsided by a pickup truck, where the truck is higher than the battery pack. I imagine doors like that not absorbing as much impact as if there was a B pillar there.

That said, it’s not bad looking. Give it some knobbier tires, and I could see these being quite popular.

Right hand steering countries of course have to wait for ‘concepts’ like this one, but PSA Citroen is still actively selling Ampera -e’s (basically the BOLT ev made in Orion, Michigan), and I assume Europeans, if they can tolerate the slower charger, absolutely love them as I do mine. This car is only news therefore in countries that don’t have cars like it as of yet.

Ah, the mythical Ampera e, that reportedly saw some limited deliveries in a few European countries… Not that it matters, considering that at the price they are asking for it over here, it’s now completely uninteresting compared to say a Kona; and will be even less so once the 60 kW Leaf (and the Model 3) become available…

I still haven’t seen one of those in real life. They simply can’t be bought in Europe.

I obviously have not checked everywhere, but on the Opel Swiss website they are for sale at a not unreasonable price. CHF 52,700 for presumably a fully-loaded Ampera – E. (Not the stripped models we have in the States).

And one of the commenters here is Swiss who enjoys his Ampera-e.

The battery pack alone, of course, won’t make up for the lack of B-pillar. The roof structure has to be engineered to deal with side impact and rollover as well. The pack can help a lot, though.

Concept cars always have goofy doors so the interior is better visible in pictures. The doors rarely make it to production.

Not the first or last car to be designed without a B-Pillar, nothing new would just check the crash test should it ever get built.

“Its mission is to find a way forward as the automotive landscape turns electric.” Are these companies seriously retarded? Do they have their head so far in the sand they can’t comprehend anything? Is the delaying tactic so entrenched it prevents them actually doing anything? Hello! Tesla Model 3 (in fact every Tesla model) already shows the way forward. If they can’t see that then I hope they go out of business. Concepts are great, they should show what the future might be like. But when the future is already here then these concepts lose their impact. We are at the phase where we don’t need this sort of concept, at least not voiced in this way, what we need now are the production intent EV’s, the ones that we expect to buy in a year. Not 5yrs, not 3yrs, not 2yrs, they need to be next year. The knowledge has been there for 10yrs. The change has begun and picks up speed. The prices are at the point where it makes sense for a good lot of people (and if you don’t believe that, then how to explain 120,000 Model 3 deliveries of the most expensive version?). Concepts are… Read more »

The Opel/Vauxhall brand was betting their EV future on GM’s offerings; so after they got sold off, they were left with ZERO EV in the works. Bringing a car to production takes about five years. It is *absolutely impossible* for them to present production intent EVs to come next year — these are years away, no matter how hard they try. In the meantime, they are trying to tide people over with concepts. No surprise here at all, and no amount of complaining will change it.

They will start to sell an EV model next year. GM owned Opel and did not give them enough funds to develop their own EV tech. Next year, they will sell a PSA designed EV.

Vauxhall never wanted the Ampera, a derivative of the US Volt yet after six years it is still the only sensibly designed 100% electric drive hybrid with a battery range way further than any other which allows 100% electric commuting even in winter in a car that has an unlimited range on petrol.

I still think they should make the Opel GT coupe as an EV.

All Vauxhall and Opel obviously needed to do was sell the GM Bolt in Europe/Britain – and sell it as the Bolt not the Ampera-e.
The rest is just yet more fill-the-void, procrastination that consumers don’t want, don’t need and have never requested.
Paul G

50kwh suggests that this may likely be based on the DS3 Cross E-Tense.