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.