Wednesday, December 23, 2009

History: Opel Geneva Concepts 1975 to 2004

The Gran Tourismo Coupe was met with enthusiasm from both journalists and consumers alike but despite the rumors, Opel hasn’t decided whether it’ll produce it or not. That makes Opel’s report on its Swiss adventures over the few past decades even more interesting since it not only refreshes our memories but it also offers us a chance to see what happened to their previous concepts. Undeniably, petroholics will find the sexy “Geneva” sports coupe as the most intriguing of them all. The “Geneva” actually started out with a rotary-engine but during the development process GM dropped its Wankel program before the concept was completed for the 1975 Geneva Show!

Press Release: Advanced Opel Concept Cars in Geneva
1975 – Opel Geneve
In Geneva in 1975, Opel revealed a beautifully streamlined two-seater, the “Genève”. Engineered to take a Wankel-type rotary engine, its original name was “GT/W” (“W” forWankel). However, GM dropped its Wankel development program before the car was completed. Opel Design renamed it and exhibited its fiberglass mock-up as an eye-catcher at the show.

1982 – Opel Corsa Spider
The spectacular fiberglass “Corsa Spider” concept car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1982. Cover plates were used to complete the transformation from a four-seater to a two-seater. In the same way, covering the front passenger seat gave the Spider the look of a single-seat race car. Much to the dismay of many fans, Opel did not put the “Corsa Spider” into production.

1992 – Opel Twin
Highlights of the Twin concept car included interchangeable drive units, with the engine, transmission, rear axle and energy accumulator housed inside. This allowed the vehicle to run on whichever drive assembly made the most environmental and economical sense. For highway driving for instance, there was a three-cylinder gasoline engine (0.8 liter, 34 hp) and for city or short distance driving, an electric unit with two wheel-hub motors (each with 14 hp). Arranging all the drive assemblies in the rear allowed for a variation to the usual seating layout. Instead of sitting front left, the driver had a central single-seat position, while three more passengers were able to sit in the back.

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