Vauxhall-Opel’s spectacular Opel GT concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show earlier this year could yet become a reality, despite General Motors currently having no platform on which to base the RWD coupe.
Reports out of Europe continue to suggest Opel is looking at ways to turn the concept into a production based rear-wheel-drive coupe.
This latest news is in stark contrast to reports earlier this year stating Opel had no plans to put the radical coupe into production. An Opel spokesperson affirmed back in February the GT concept remained “purely a concept study to show off innovations that may one day be found in an Opel production car”.
Part of the company’s reasoning is that “this is a niche segment that is shrinking in size”. And therein lies the problem for Opel now: making a sound financial case for what would effectively be a low-volume seller on a RWD platform.
But now Vauxhall-Opel chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann told Autocar he would love to turn the wild concept into a production car.
“It’s a car we all love and the public love, so we really want to build it,” he said. “The question is what the right approach is, so we are studying different directions we could follow.”
Neumann revealed cost would be the deciding factor. One suggestion has the GT concept built on a ‘parts bin’ platform, utilising existing General Motors’ architecture to come up with an engineering solution for the RWD GT. However, Neumann believed that such a solution would be cost-prohibitive.
“The platform is a complication,” he said. “You can take parts and pieces, but it’s a matter of cost. If you do a lot of engineering on the platform, then you can’t do it.”
A more viable alternative is for Vauxhall-Opel to team up with one of General Motors’ global partners to provide a suitable donor platform, an idea Neumann agreed was a possibility. However, Neumann added the platform would have to be “something off the shelf”.
One such global partner is the Chinese-owned SAIC, Motor Corporation, which owns, among others, MG. However Neumann declined to comment on the prospect of the GT using one the Chinese giant’s existing platforms.
Tantalisingly for Australia, a production Opel GT could head Down Under. Holden has previously said one-third of its future models will be rebadged Opels/Vauxhalls. If the concept does indeed make it into production, the odds of it coming to Australia seem high.
It’s believed Vauxhall-Opel has given itself two years to find a solution before either shelving the project or green-lighting production.