The Vauxhall GT concept has been shown off ahead of the car's global debut at the Geneva motor show.
The two-seat coupé concept is described as "a template for future sports car" and is broadly similar in size and mechanical layout to a Mazda MX-5 but has ultra-modern, flowing lines and a fixed roof. It is so pared down and “unashamedly avant-garde” that it doesn’t even need door handles or exterior mirrors. It does, however, employ the classical long-bonnet, short-boot proportions used by ‘emotional’ rear-wheel-drive sports cars through the ages, although its mechanical components are distinctly modern.
“It’s difficult to reinvent iconic concepts like these,” said Adams of the Vauxhall XVR and Opel GT, “but just as each of them was avant-garde back then, so is this GT Concept today. It’s pure and minimalistic, yet bold and uncompromising.”
Adams believes the car “impressively demonstrates the continuous development of our design philosophy”.
The GT Concept’s rakish looks are backed by a very contemporary mechanical package. The 1.0-litre, all-aluminium 144bhp engine (used in various guises in the Adam, Corsa and Astra) also packs an impressive 151lb ft of torque in the GT’s turbocharged form. Ready for the road, the GT is tipped to weigh less than 1000kg.
A 0-62mph time of less than eight seconds and a 134mph top speed are promised.
Perhaps the GT Concept’s most striking design features are the large doors, whose side windows integrate seamlessly into the body surface without the need for conventional sills. They are opened via roof-mounted touchpads in the red signature line, which flows on either side from the GT’s eye-catching red front tyres, along the tops of the front wings and over the roof on to the rear, enclosing a see-through roof.
Another unique feature is the GT’s use of integrated headlight/indicator units that develop the technology used for the new Astra’s glare-reducing IntelliLux matrix lighting to its next level.
The large doors have space-saving hinges ingeniously mounted in the front wheel arches that allow the door to open wide, even in tight parking spaces.
Although most observers will see the GT Concept’s use of red front tyres, mounted on ‘rollerskate’ wheels, as an avant-garde feature, they are also a subtle reference to an iconic Opel motorcycle from the 1920s called the Motoclub 500, which had red tyres front and rear.