GM's 200mpg hybrid isn't just about clever drivetrains
11 September 2007

From Rory Lumsdon in Frankfurt

The main headline about General Motors' sleek new Flextreme concept is of course its clever E-Flex drivetrain - it'll manage 1.5 litres per 100km, which is around 200mpg, and emits 40g/km of CO2, but there's more to it than that.The Flextreme also showcases some new rear-opening back doors, and GM assures us that these will make production. They can open independently of the front doors (unlike those on Mazda's RX-8) and are frameless. The idea is that they make access and egress much easier.There's also a compartment at the back that houses two Segway personal transporters, and charges them, but we can't see that catching on. Even so, GM reckons it's a logical extension of the Flexfix bike rack that it introduced last year on the Corsa.As for the styling, it follows the look of the GTC concept revealed last year, and there are plenty of elements that could make production, including the glass roof - which could be one of the trends of this year's show.But back to that drivetrain. GM boss Rick Wagoner says that GM plans to put over a million Flex-fuel vehicles on the road in 2008; beyond that it's cars like the Flextreme that could lead the way. For the meantime, however, look to the new E85 ethanol-burning Vectra and the Corsa hybrid concept - you could be driving one very soon.

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