Vauxhall's version of the Chevrolet Volt spied in finished form
19 February 2009

The Vauxhall/Opel Ampera has been caught undisguised ahead of its public unveil next week. These spy pictures show the European version of the Chevrolet Volt at a GM facility in Germany.

The new Vauxhall Ampera, which will be built in Europe and could be made at the Ellesmere Port factory, will go on sale in the second half of 2011.

Because the Ampera is based on GM’s new Delta platform, used in the Chevrolet Cruze and the next Astra, GM has said it can be built at any factory equipped to build Delta cars. However, there’s no guarantee Ellesmere Port will get the next Astra.

The front of the Vauxhall Ampera gets big slot intakes inspired by the GTC concept that previewed the Insignia, and the grille is a smooth, blanked-off fitting designed to improve airflow over the car.

Although it is essentially the same car as the Volt, but with a new front and rear end, redesigning the Ampera would have been significantly harder for the GM Europe team due to the need to match the Volt’s very efficient aerodynamic performance.

Every detail on the Volt’s body has been honed to improve airflow over the car, and therefore cut fuel consumption; the Ampera’s designers will have faced the same challenge.

GM claims the Ampera will be capable of returning 176mpg, with CO2 emissions of under 40g/km.

Dan Stevens

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