2010s / 2016 Geneva Auto Show / German / Opel

News: Opel’s Geneva-bound GT concept is a modern take on the 1965 Experimental GT

opel-gt-concept-2Opel has introduced the GT concept that will greet the public for the first time at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.

As expected, the GT’s front end is markedly inspired by the Monza concept that was shown at the 2013 edition of the Frankfurt show. Beyond that, its silhouette harks back to the Experimental GT concept unveiled at the 1965 Geneva Show, but Opel has opted not to give the coupe a full-on retro-styled design like the Volkswagen Beetlew and instead opt for a more futuristic look. The side windows have been integrated into the door skins, the door handles have been replaced by touch pads that are hidden out of sight, and cameras incorporated into the front wheel arches replace the mirrors.

Careful observers will notice the GT’s twin round tail pipes are a discreet homage to the Experimental GT, and the red front tires are similar to those found on the Motoclub 500, a motorcycle launched all the way back in 1928. The concept doesn’t have a trunk lid, a feature that it shares with both the Experimental GT and the GT that was billed as a baby Corvette when it was launched in 1968.

The GT concept surfs the industry’s downsizing wave. While you’d expect to find at least a four-cylinder under the long hood, it uses a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that sends 145 horsepower to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission. The engine is borrowed from the Adam, Opel’s Fiat 500-fighting city car, but it has been comprehensively modified. The two-seater coupe reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) from a stop in a little under eight seconds, and it goes on to a top speed of 133 mph (215 km/h).

Opel explains the GT is nothing more than a concept that previews its next design language. However, German magazine Auto Bild believes the coupe will be toned down and added to the company’s lineup as a regular-production model to replace the Astra GTC. It will likely ride on the same platform as the new Astra, meaning it will be front-wheel drive, and it will be available with three- and four-cylinder engines sourced from the Opel parts bin.

We’re taking the report with a grain of salt; if it’s true, look for the production model to land in showrooms in 2018 to celebrate the original GT’s 50th anniversary.

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