General Motors has announced the replacement for the Vauxhall VX220 – the front-engined, two-seat, open-top Opel GT – but the bad news for British sports car fans is that Vauxhall isn't going to sell it here, even in left-hand-drive form.
These pictures of the new two-seater were released late last week by Opel in Russelsheim (see gallery). The GT is a close visual match for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models that it will share its Delaware production line with. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that serves up 261bhp to its rear wheels via a five speed manual gearbox. It's capable of cracking 62mph in just 5.7sec, and more than 140mph flat out, making it a close match on performance for cars like the Nissan 350Z Roadster and Honda S2000.
The Opel GT has been the target of Autocar's interest since the appearance of the concept car that sired it – the VX Lightning, designed by Simon Cox for the 2003 Detroit motor show. Vauxhall spokesmen have given us indications on several occasions that, despite the fact that the Opel GT would only be built in left-hand-drive form, it would be available through UK dealers via special order. However, Luton has changed its tune, it seems; it has decided not to offer the car to UK buyers at all.
When Autocar approached several franchised Vauxhall dealers, we confirmed Vauxhall's line; we were told the car would not be available in the UK on any official basis. 'You might have more luck through an internet importer,' one salesmen advised, 'but I don't know what it might cost you, or how easy it would be to get serviced.'
If your heart's set on an Opel GT, it'll be priced from 30,675 Euros, and be in continental dealerships this March. Expect third parties to be offering them on the UK market in the summer from around £24,000.