Since the Opel Experimental GT (1965), sometimes considered the first "European concept car", Opel has produced many concept vehicles, with quite a few of them making their debut at the Geneva Motor Show, considered to be the platform for new designs and automotive innovations.
Here is an overview of some of the concept cars that Opel has unveiled in Geneva over the years:
- 1975 – Opel GT/W Genève
- 1982 – Opel Corsa Spider
- 1992 – Opel Twin
- 1995 – Opel Maxx
- 1997 – Opel Signum Concept
- 1999 – Opel Concept A
- 2002 – Opel Concept M
- 2003 – Opel GTC Genève
- 2004 – Opel Trixx
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” for
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.
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.
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.
Instead of a conventional steel body, the Opel Maxx had a stable light alloy structure made of extruded aluminum profiles like a cage, which was visible from the outside.
The form and dimensions of the profiles were variable, ensuring exceptional flexibility.
The idea behind it was that instead of the two-door and two-seat basic version, Opel was also able to build a four-door extended version with four or even six seats.
The Signum was a concept for an elegant sedan with a long wheelbase and very spacious passenger compartment, featuring an interior arrangement with unprecedented flexibility in a car of this kind.
The new idea became reality in 2003, when Opel launched a Signum that reflected the principle and innovation of the initial concept: maximum interior size and flexibility.
Distinguishing features of the “Concept A” microvan study were exceptional design, high levels of functionality and ultra-modern, environmentally compatible propulsion technology.
Its striking look was just as impressive as its high variability, which allowed the compact five-door microvan to be transformed from a four-seater into a spacious load carrier.
Raised seat positions made getting into and out of the vehicle easier and made traveling more relaxing. The smart Opel fun car was powered by a particularly
low-emission “bivalent” engine and, at the touch of a button, ran on gasoline or compressed natural gas.
The Concept A served as the forerunner to the Agila.
The “Concept M” was a sporty and environmentally-friendly concept van from Opel. With a height of 1.62 meters, the dynamically styled, compact body had plenty of space for four passengers.
The 1.6-liter, 110 kW/150 hp natural gas turbo engine, combined with the automated “Easytronic” manual transmission familiar from the Corsa, formed a very promising drivetrain concept.
The high-quality cabin was also ultra-modern and boasted great potential for a variety of innovative and flexible interior solutions. The Concept M became a great market success as the Meriva.
With the GTC Genève, Opel unveiled a sporty three-door concept car that inspired many elements of the Astra GTC and showcased both high dynamics combined with comfortable seating for four people.
The champagne-silver concept car featured a tinted, transparent roof that stretched from the windshield to the rear window, and the design team took the GTC’s proportions (length/width/height: 4349/1773/1352 mm) to the extreme.
The Opel TRIXX was a true multi-talent. There was either room for up to three adults and one child, or plenty of load capacity as a one-seater.
Three electrically powered pantograph doors enabled very easy access for passengers and luggage loading.
Other ingenious ideas included an inflatable rear seat, a foldaway front passenger’s seat and a rear pull-out luggage rack.
This clever feature, which is today known as “Flex-Fix”, is now in series production and optionally available for the new Corsa and Antara.