Future Models - Opel 2017 GT
Geneva show: Opel eyes new GT
Holden link with Opel’s new-generation “breathtaking, puristic” GT sportscar
18 January 2016
HOLDEN’S GM Australia Design is believed to have had a hand in the development
of Opel’s new GT sportscar concept that will foreshadow the latest step in the
new design philosophy for Opel and its sister brands Vauxhall, Holden and Buick.
To be fully revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, the GT has been teased
in a brief video featuring Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann who promised to reveal
more in a second instalment on January 21.
“Take a look at Opel with a new pair of eyes,” Mr Neumann says in the video, as
the camera zooms into his left eye to reveal a “vibrant red wheel” that forms
part of the GT’s design.
GoAuto understands that the GT is not the only imminent GM debutante that
Holden’s design team has had a role in, with another about to break cover
elsewhere overseas in the first half of this year.
The Opel GT will be revealed in concept form at the Swiss auto
expo. Although it is said to be a design study, it is likely to turn up as a
production car in the next few years, not only for Opel and Vauxhall but also
Holden and perhaps Buick.
It would be the third Opel sporstcar to carry the GT moniker, with the
Kadett-based GT coupe in production from 1968 to 1974, and then the
American-built, Pontiac Solstice-based GT convertible from 2007 to 2009.
The latter, manufactured in Delaware, was also shared as the Saturn Sky in the
US and the Daewoo G2X in South Korea before it met its demise in the global
financial crisis. This vehicle was never made in right-hand drive, so had no
chance for Holden’s line-up in Australia.
The new version, however, might well be one of the 24 new models to be rolled
out by Holden by the end of the decade, mostly likely sitting above the
GM’s United Kingdom brand Vauxhall has issued a similar release about the GT,
suggesting that it could very well be produced in right-hand drive.
At this stage, Holden is all quiet on the GT, with product communications
manager Mark Flintoft telling GoAuto that the company had nothing to add to the
He did point out, however, that the Melbourne-based GM Australia Design was
well hooked into GM’s global design organisation, and thus working on a number
of projects for GM partners around the world.
The previous two Opel GT’s were front-engine, rear-wheel-drive designs, raising
hopes that the newest edition will be a true high-performance rear-drive
sportscar, perhaps based on the same light-weight rear-drive platform as the
Holden-designed Buick Avenir large sedan concept shown at last year’s Detroit
motor show and the Buick Avista sports coupe concept that made its debut last
week in Detroit.
Both cars were awarded the Eyes On Design award for the best new design at the
If such a rear-drive GT makes it into the Holden line-up as expected, it will
go some way to assuaging the grief of Holden fans over the demise of the
rear-drive Commodore next year.
We are betting the GT will carry at least some styling cues from its Buick
brethren as GM brings its European, British, Australian and American sub-luxury
brands into alignment.
Holden’s GM Australia Design has been at the core of this design change,
styling the exterior of the pace-setting Avenir and then building the show car
at its Port Melbourne studios.
As one of only two GM sites in the world to be able to make such show cars from
scratch, Holden more than likely built the new GT at its fabrication workshops
before shipping it to Europe ahead of the Geneva show.
It is unclear if the GT is the V8 sportscar promised to Holden fans by GM
International president Stefan Jacoby, but if previous Opel GTs are anything to
go by, it will be somewhat smaller, perhaps with a hi-po four-cylinder engine
or twin-turbo V6.
In a blurb accompanying the video that was released by Opel in Germany on
Friday night, Mr Neumann described the GT as “the next major step for Opel”.
The blurb goes on: “The concept car carries on the great tradition of the
car-maker that is already made clear by the name: the Opel GT Concept is coming.
“In the film, a vibrant red wheel is mirrored in the eye of the beholder,
heralding a breath-taking concept that will celebrate its premiere at the
Geneva Motor Show (March 3-13).
“The breathtaking and puristic sportscar expresses the continuous innovative
strength and the new lifestyle of Opel.”