All-New Opel GT revives a classic sports car
By Mike Hanlon
February 1, 2006
February 2, 2006 The classic slogan "Nur Fliegen ist schöner" ("Only flying is more exciting") went down in the history of advertising, and applied to a car which has become a classic - the Opel GT. Now the Opel brand is reviving the legend with a new sports car that echoes the successful concept of its predecessor. The new two-seat GT features an exciting design with sharply cut lines, rear-wheel drive and a potent four-cylinder turbo engine with gasoline direct injection. The new roadster will celebrate its world premiere at this year's Geneva Motor Show.
The career of the original GT began with a bolt out of the blue. When Opel presented a two-seat sports car at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show it came as a complete surprise, especially as the GT was a total departure from the prevailing design trend in Europe at that time. The curvacious lines were inspired by a new style of US-design, the so-called "coke-bottle shape". The styling cues included a low front-end with pop-up headlights, pronounced rounded wheelarches, a narrow waist in the area of the doors, and even shapelier rear wheelarches ending in an abrupt tail-end. Over 100,000 units were produced between 1968 and 1973, and the GT has since become a coveted collector's item.
Now the legendary name is making a comeback in the form of a stunning two-seat roadster that Opel is hoping will also make automobive history. With exciting, sharply-cut lines, rear-wheel drive, and a potent four-cylinder turbo engine with gasoline direct injection, the new sports car echoes the successful concept of the original GT.
“The GT is a powerful addition to our range of attractive niche products, and thereby further enhances the appeal of the Opel brand”, says Carl-Peter Forster, President of GM Europe. “The Tigra, the Astra TwinTop, and the new GT mean that we will have three very different models, all of which deliver top-down driving excitement. Moreover, the GT is a perfect example of how GM uses and applies its worldwide resources for the good of the individual brands.”
The new Opel GT should be fun to drive thanks to its front engine and rear-wheel drive, which together ensure a balanced weight distribution, and its 260-hp 2.0-liter ECOTEC turbo engine with gasoline direct injection. This accelerates the new GT from zero to 100 km/h in less than six seconds, and enables a maximum speed of over 230 km/h.
Another fun factor is the fabric roof, which folds down to provide open-air enjoyment denied to the owners of the first GT. The roof disappears completely beneath a cover, further underlining the GT’s sporty silhouette with short overhangs and widely spaced 18-inch wheels.
The development of the new Opel GT is an example of transcontinental collaboration within GM. The design was inspired by the VX Lightning concept car, which was conceived by the GM Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, England in May 2003 for the 100th anniversary of the Vauxhall brand. The new GT will be built in Wilmington/Delaware, in the USA, where its sister models, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky, are also produced. The Opel GT is scheduled to hit the markets in spring 2007.