In a world where every automaker has or wants to have at least one crossover or SUV, sometimes they have to do something a little extra to set their model apart from the pack. Bentley's EXP 9 F
does it with its signature interior; Lamborghini's Urus concept
does it with its supercar styling and hot red paint; and Opel now does it with an innovative accessory - a bike carrier that's integrated into the bumper. Opel claims it's the only car maker to offer a fully integrated bicycle carrier that is always on board.
Pictures have finally emerged of the Vauxhall/Opel RAD e Concept pedelec (pedal-assist electric bicycle, in other words). "Pictures" is precisely the word, mind - these are computer renderings rather than product photos. Still, they give a good idea of what Vauxall/Opel has in mind (if nowhere else), and the accompanying press release gives one or two further points of insight.
General Motors is joining the sub-compact SUV B-segment with an all new car - the Mokka. While it's to be shown as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka Concept at the Geneva Show
in March, GM has announced that it will be available before the end of this year with a pick of three engines and a host of new technologies.
When the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault and Chrysler introduce a new model series, it is equally or more reliable than the model it replaces. Right? Wrong! New information has been released this week which indicates all of the above companies have replaced major models with less reliable models in the last decade - the worst three examples were 60%, 54% and 40% more likely to break down than their predecessor.
Inductive charging devices are already making their way into the home as a cable-free option to keep the batteries of everything from mice
to mobile phones
juiced up. The increasing availability of practical electric vehicles has also seen the technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries
. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" project.
Vauxhall/Opel will reveal an interesting new concept that blends elements of an electric car and a motorbike this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The vehicle is still unnamed, but the GM subsidiary describes it as a "production potential" concept that "could revolutionize" urban transport, though just how is left unexplained at the moment.
Opel has announced pricing and started taking reservations for the European sibling of the Chevy Volt
– the Opel Ampera
. Although prices between countries may differ due to different trim, Opel says the suggested retail price for the base model throughout Europe will start at 42,900 euro – that’s just over US$58,500 at the current exchange rate – which has raised eyebrows since the base price of the Volt in the U.S. is $41,000.
Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to create vehicles that operate on both land and water. It's fair to say that such designs have generally not caught on. Perhaps it's because of the fairly limited effectiveness of some of those offerings, or maybe it's because so many of them have been ugly monsters. Then again, it could be that society just hasn't found a niche for them yet. By the year 2050 though, we may need to give such craft some serious consideration. Juan Pablo Bernal P has come up with a concept design that certainly ticks all the right boxes for looks, and also takes the environment into consideration.
While rear-hinged back doors are not new in the motor industry (Rolls Royce Phantom/Ghost and Mazda RX8), the first pictures of the GM/Opel/Vauxhall Meriva have surfaced and the FlexDoors and FlexSpace features seen in concept cars over the last few years are finally set for market launch in a family car (main pic and top right). First seen in the groundbreaking Flexstreme Concept Car
from IAA Frankfurt 2007 (bottom right pic), then further refined with the Meriva Concept at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show (centre right pic), the flex theme combines improved access/egress and a suite of features offering a quickly reconfigurable interior and is likely to be welcomed by families which need to cater for several types of mobility with one vehicle.
After various sneak peeks and spy shots, we now have official pictures of the European version of the Chevrolet Volt
. To be officially launched at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the left hand drive Opel/Vauxhall Ampera will go on sale late 2011 with a right-hand drive Vauxhall version available in 2012.