After Opel unveiled the prototype version of the Ampera electric sedan a couple of months ago, we knew that the announcement of a pre-production model would soon follow. That announcement has come with the first pre-production 2012 Ampera rolling off GM’s Pre-Production Operations assembly line in Warren, Michigan.
Among other models like it, the pre-production Ampera will be used for testing and validating the production intent design as well as developing the final vehicle software and controls. Some of these pre-production vehicles will only be used to tune the overall driving experience while others will see a short lifespan as they are used for safety and structural integrity testing. Enter crash test dummy Amperas, please. The Ampera can travel about 60km on one charge with its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery emitting zero CO2. Once the car’s charge is depleted, the Ampera will switch to a 1.4-liter gas engine which has been borrowed from the Volt. The Opel Ampera will go on sale in 2011.
Press release after the jump.
The Opel Ampera passed an important milestone Friday, April 23, when the first pre-production Model Year 2012 Ampera rolled off the line at GM’s Pre-Production Operations assembly line in Warren, Michigan.
Assembly workers will build more pre-production Amperas in the coming months. These pre-production vehicles will not be sold at dealerships, but used instead for testing and validating the production intent design as well as developing the final vehicle software and controls. Engineers in Europe and the United States also use them to tune the vehicle’s overall driving experience. Some of these Amperas will have very short lives as they will be used in safety and structural integrity testing.
“We’re right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year,” said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Ampera “There’s still work to be done, but being able to drive an Opel Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe.”
The Opel Ampera extended-range electric vehicle delivers up to 60 kilometers of pure electric driving before an engine-generator kicks in to sustain the battery charge and seamlessly extend the range to more than 500 kilometers. The battery can be charged by plugging the vehicle’s on-board charge system into a standard household outlet. It is scheduled to go on sale end 2011.