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Frankfurt show: Opel unveils reborn Monza

Opel resurrects Monza nameplate for sleek sports concept previewing future design

9 Jul 2013

OPEL has dusted off an old nameplate – Monza – and attached it to a stunning new sportscar concept that previews its future design direction.

To make its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show on September 10, the Monza concept is described by General Motors’ European subsidiary as “our vision of Opel’s future”.

Opel chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann said the Monza stands for the company’s “fundamental values” – that is, “German engineering and precision, combined with enthralling design and innovations suitable for everyday use”.

“The Monza concept carries these elements forward in a visionary fashion, expressing them with fresh inspiration and clarity,” he said.

“This car is a study that will have a long-term impact on the next generation of Opel models.”

There are no indications at this stage that GM, which is working to restore its struggling Opel brand to profitability, intends to build an all-new sports model that pays homage to the original Monza Coupe built between 1978 and 1986.

While full details are still to be released, the German-based design team – which GM announced last week would, from September 1, be led by Cadillac, Buick and GME design chief Mark Adams – has drawn inspiration from the original coupe, with large glazed areas and a low beltline.

Opel says the concept presents an evolution of its design philosophy, which aims to blend “sculptural artistry and German precision” with body contours conveying a sense of “lithe athleticism rather than pure muscle power”.

“This design emphasis is immediately apparent in the vehicle’s front styling,” the company says.

“A low stance with flowing lines, the clearly defined hood and a striking headlamp treatment all combine to give the car an extra dose of assertive self-confidence.

“Further developed signature Opel themes are embedded in the overall look: the typical crease on the hood appears more three-dimensional and more prominent, while the chrome grille bar carrying the Opel blitz now sweeps up with winglets at its tips.

“Two characteristic blades under the head lamps add to the sporty appeal.

“Overall, the Monza concept has a light, athletic look designed to convey efficiency, excitement and great driving fun.”

Opel says the original Monza was the first car to feature a digital dashboard display, and that the latest concept continues this theme with “ground-breaking technologies for future infotainment and connectivity possibilities”.

However, details remain under wraps for now.

“I can’t yet go into detail about how the Monza concept’s interior design, and especially its trend-setting technologies, will change the driving experience,” Dr Neumann said.

“However, I can guarantee that viewed from any angle, its innovative body design and perfect proportions will turn heads.

“But they are just a visible expression of the great substance you will find under the bodywork.”

Frankfurt is shaping up as a big ‘comeback’ show for Opel, which will also present its heavily upgraded Insignia due for release here early next year, and an off-road version dubbed the Opel Insignia Country Tourer.

First images of the latter were revealed last week, and Opel Australia has said it would study the case for bringing the mid-size crossover wagon here.

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