Opel to Unveil GT, Signum Sport at Geneva
By Mike Sutton
WardsAuto.com, Feb 24 2006
Opel vehicles and a range of Cadillac models represent GM's next thrust into the global market.
General Motors Corp.'s European subsidiary, Adam Opel AG, is planning a new product onslaught at the upcoming Geneva auto show, including the world premier of the all-new Kappa architecture-based Opel GT roadster, set to go on sale in Europe in spring 2007.
Drawing on the heritage of the original GT, which debuted in 1965 at the Frankfurt auto show, the new GT blends its open-air appeal with an aggressive design, rear-wheel drive and a 260-hp, turbocharged 4-cyl. engine, the auto maker says.
“The GT is a powerful addition to our range of attractive niche products, and thereby further enhances the appeal of the Opel brand,” says GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster. “Moreover, the GT is a perfect example of how GM uses and applies its worldwide resources for the good of the individual brands.” (See related story: Forster Sees Better Days Ahead for GM-Europe)
Caption: Opel GT available in Europe in 2007.
The GT stems from the same structural underpinnings as the Pontiac Solstice and all-new Saturn Sky roadsters, sharing nearly allof its sister cars' attributes. Features include a manually folding cloth top, hard tonneau cover and sporty stance - complete with short overhangs and 18-in. wheels.
The GT will be built in the U.S. alongside other Kappa platform-based cars at GM's assembly plant in Wilmington, DE, Opel says.
What sets the GT apart from the Solstice and Sky is its turbocharged and gasoline direct-injected 2L Ecotec mill. Rated at 260 hp, Opel claims the car is good for 6-second sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) and a top speed of more than 143 mph (230 km/h).
Opel's Geneva display also will spotlight the debut of its new flagship, the Signum Sport 2.8L V-6 Turbo S wagon.
The auto maker says it currently is taking orders for the new sport model, which features GM's 2.8L, turbocharged V-6 engine, making 250 hp and 258 ft.-lbs. (350 Nm) of torque. The engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. (See related story: General Motors Corp. 2.8L Turbocharged DOHC V-6)
Opel says the vehicle can accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 7 seconds and has an average fuel economy rating of 22 mpg (10.6 L/100 km).
The Signum Sport features adaptive chassis and suspension control systems, adaptive bi-Xenon headlights, and a versatile interior with a configurable rear-seating system called FlexSpace.
Other Opel highlights include the new Astra TwinTop cabriolet-coupe, a sleek, 4-seat convertible with a retractable 3-piece roof that goes on sale in Europe in May; the Meriva OPC high-performance minivan; and a compressed natural gas-powered version of the Zafira minivan.
Also representing GM at Geneva will be the Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, which recently went on sale in Europe, along with the Cadillac BLS, Escalade and V-Series STS and XLR. (See related story: Cadillacs Bound for Frankfurt Show)
The all-new '07 Escalade goes on sale in Europe later this year, while the V-Series models will not be available overseas until early 2007, GM says.
The made-for-European BLS, based on the Saab 9-3, signifies Cadillac's push into the global market. It goes on sale April 8.
The car is built in Trollhattan, Sweden, and is the first-ever Cadillac to feature a diesel engine - a turbocharged, 1.9L 4-cyl. utilizing common-rail direct injection and rated at 150 hp. (See related story: GM Europe to Keep Sagging Saab Plant in Business)
Three turbocharged, gasoline-powered engines, ranging from 175 hp to 255 hp, also are available.
“The BLS was developed for luxury customers, with particular attention to the demands of the European and other international markets,” Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor says.