Opel GT

Production Cars 26 Jan 2007
Opel GT

Opel has released the official images and information about the new GT, a modern interpretation of the classic roadster concept. The first vehicles will be delivered on March 2007.

Opel GTOpel defines the new GT a “classic roadster”, with front engine, rear-wheel drive and a tailor-made fabric roof.

The design has a wide stance, sleek silhouette, long, front-hinged hood and short overhangs, with proportions that are typical of this class.

Thank to its 264 hp turbo engine with direct gasoline injection, acceleration from zero to
100 km/h takes 5.7 seconds and the top speed is around 230 km/h. The new Opel GT shares some engineering characteristics with the current Corvette, such as part of the architecture.

The new GT is the heir to the tradition of the first Opel GT (1968 – 1973), which was the first European car to go into production after being debuted to the public as a concept study.

Opel GT - Design sketchesThe first Opel GTs will be on the road in March 2007 and dealerships have been accepting orders since summer 2006. The announced retail price in Germany is 30,675 euros (incl. VAT).

The Concept

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.

Opel GT - Design sketchesThe 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.

Exterior Design

Opel GT - Design studySharp lines coupled with taut surfaces give the new Opel GT a crisp, dynamic look.

The sculpted design is characterized by clear-cut edges in contrast with muscular arched surfaces.

The Opel GT has classic proportions, with a wide stance with sleek silhouette, long hood and short overhangs.

The roadster character is completed by 18-inch aluminum wheels in new five-spoke design and the
tailor-made fabric roof, which completely disappears beneath a cover that seamlessly integrates into the car’s shape when closed.

Opel GT - side view Opel GT - side view

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.


Opel GT - Interior design sketchChrome-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.

Customers who choose the Premium package, which includes leather seats with visible stitching and leather trim in the doors, have the choice between classic black leather upholstery or a bold two-tone combination of cobalt red and black.

Opel GT - Interior Opel GT - Interior

The high-tech look of the surface structures, accented with black piano lacquer and chrome finishes, underline the sporty ambience, while the chrome-ringed ventilation and lighting controls are further evidence of the GT designers’ attention to detail.


Opel GT - Engine Opel GT - Engine

The 1998 cm3 engine features gasoline direct injection, twin-scroll turbocharger with intercooler, double camshaft phasing and twin counter-rotating balance shafts.

It delivers a maximum output of 194 kW/264 hp at 5300 rpm and a maximum torque of 353 Nm between
2500 and 5000 rpm.

Average fuel consumption is 9.2 liters of 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.


Opel GT - ChassisThe Opel GT has 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.

Vehicle Structure and Body

Opel GTThe vehicle structure consists of hydroformed side members and a supporting center tunnel made from drawn sheet steel.

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 Astra.

Only the Corvette is also based on hydroformed side members.

Opel GT In addition to this, the exterior body panels are manufactured using sheet hydroforming technology, a procedure that is relatively time-consuming, but provides designers with greater creative freedom.

Sheet hydroforming uses water pressure to help create the vehicle’s skin. The process is slower and more precise than traditional body stamping and offers the advantage of providing a much deeper “draw”, which enables the designers to use a greater creative freedom.

Hydroforming alone made  possible the Opel GT’s large, curvaceous clamshell hood, doors and rear quarter panel. Conventional stamping processes could not yield the same results.

Body production and assembly

Opel GTIn the body shop, the underbody – including a large, enclosed central tunnel – is welded to the frame tubes. Floor panels are spot-welded above the corrugated sections to provide a flat passenger footwell area for both seats in a composite construction process similar to the one used on the Corvette.

Unique assembly methods are employed during production to achieve the highest possible rigidity, such as adhesive bonding and MIG welding technology.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding technology is a special electric arc welding process whereby the welding point is sprayed with a protective gas.

MIG welding is employed on the Opel GT for the brackets and other chassis and body structures.

The front dash structure and windshield frame – created from molded steel components that are spot welded together as a complete unit – are built up separately from the rest of the chassis. Although they have no supporting function, they do increase torsional rigidity. After painting, the unit is fitted with the instrument panel, steering controls, pedals and other related components.

New Opel GT - top view New Opel GT - rear view

This dash/windshield sub-assembly is mated to the chassis during the vehicle’s general assembly process when it is lowered over the chassis hinge pillars and bonded in place using industrial adhesive – a process which is also used in modern aircraft construction – applied at the lower edge.

Locating bolts on the hinge pillars hold the assembly in place during the curing process.

Using similar modular designs, the upper rear partition well and luggage compartment well are pre-assembled from fiberglass-reinforced composite material.

In the event of damage to a car, technical adhesive bonding can be used for a range of low-cost repair procedures. The new Opel GT is a repair-friendly representative of its class, and is favorably classified by insurers despite its high level of driving performance. The body’s modular design, clever arrangement of components (a radiator situated far behind the large impact limiter, for example), the possibility of sectional repairs and the repairable hydroformed steel frame all contribute to the car’s favorable insurance rating.

Finishing process

All exterior body components are painted separately from the chassis structure prior to assembly. The parts are lacquered in groups on a “painting buck” to ensure color match.

This off-line painting process makes possible the special accent-color body parts, such as the silver-colored windshield frame and tulip panel behind the driver and passenger seat headrests Wilmington assembly’s body shop consists primarily of manual operations.

Many of the around 1800 employees are well-trained, experienced specialists in precise manual body construction. Apart from a few robot stations, the roadster is completely produced by complex manual workmanship.

Image Gallery

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Leave a Comment

  1. Dave Wright

    The design is really cool! With no door handles and mirrors i’d say this sports car is truly stylish. But the performance is very poor. I mean 8 sec for 0-62? Top speed is also not very appealing. I was going through the web to find out more information on this car and found this awesome website http://www.sportscarsvs.com/en/vauxhall-gt-concept/model-1563-0 where i got a lot of valuable information!


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