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Opel GT Concept revealed

By Daniel DeGasperi, 28 Jan 2016 News

Opel GT Concept revealed

Holden builds a rear-drive MX-5 competitor for its European arm

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.

Opel GT concept rearThere’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 gt concept frontOpel 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.

Opel gt concept rear doorsWhile 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 GT concept sideOpel 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.