Opel, the brand which once offered robust German cars to Malaysians, is no longer around on our roads. But the 161-year old carmaker is still very much alive under the Stellantis Group and continues to be an active player in Europe.
Like other carmakers which are largely active in Europe, electrification is a priority in view of government pressures. The combustion engine is seen as the ‘bad guy’ causing climate change and has to be banned, so zero emission electric vehicles are needed for mobility.
Opel already has electrified models and continues to develop models for the future. Its ideas can be seen in the Opel Experimental concept which will be presented at this year’s IAA Mobility event in Germany next month.
The Experimental gives a clear vision of where the Opel brand will be heading in the coming years. Highlights include cutting-edge aero-efficiency with the sleek silhouette set around very efficient packaging.
Clever and optimised aero solutions like aero-flaps at the front and rear increase aerodynamic efficiency as does the rear end diffuser. It extends or retracts depending on the prevailing driving situation.
Even the traditional wing mirrors have made way for fully integrated 180-degree cameras on the C-pillars while sharp, muscular wheel-arch blisters emphasise the confident stance.
The 3-zone Ronal wheels have an active feature to increase aerodynamic efficiency even further. In collaboration with Goodyear, special eco-friendly tyres have been developed that are made from recycled rubber.
The dramatic tapering profile has a bold and pure design with clean surfacing to enhance its stunning presence. There is a notable absence of chrome on the bodywork. Instead, exterior lighting and bold contrasting graphics add personality and sophistication.
While the exterior dimensions put the Experimental in the compact C-segment but with an interior boasts D-segment spaciousness. This has been enabled by the liberation of space (‘space detox’) inside the Opel Experimental. The steering wheel folds away seamlessly when not required. This is made possible by the steer-by-wire system, which further reduces weight by eliminating mechanical steering components.
Elsewhere in the cabin, the lightweight adaptive seats combine a lean but durable structure with 3D mesh-technology fabrics. These ensure superior seating comfort while contributing further to the liberation of space inside the concept car.
Electrochromic fabrics immerse occupants in atmospheric light that create a perfect environment for well-being. In addition, the reactive fabrics can enhance functional attributes. For example, when a vehicle enters the blind spot, a warning appears in the respective door insert as well as on the head-up display thus providing additional safety for occupants and other road-users.
The drivetrain details are not provided but it’s a certainty that a production version of the car would use one of the BEV platforms that Stellantis has developed for future models. This would also have electric all-wheel drive.
“Our new Opel Experimental gives a more extreme interpretation of our Bold and Pure design philosophy. It gives shape to our vision of the future. Many of the elements of its design and the mindset behind it will be visible in future production vehicles,” said Mark Adams, Vice-President Design.