Opel Ampera

Opel Ampera

The production version of the Opel Ampera hasn’t even made its debut yet (its scheduled to show up at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show) and already the German General Motors division is marketing the vehicle towards the German Polizei. An electric vehicle doesn’t seem to be a logical choice for a police fleet, but in time everyone will be rocking the green movement, so why not start by making it wear some blue.

The Ampera is powered by a 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery making it 100% emission-free on the road. For any bad guys hoping the car will run out of juice during a pursuit, the Ampera is ready for action with a gasoline engine serving as a secondary source of energy. This engine also generates electricity for the vehicle, giving the Ampera an autonomy of over 500 kilometers (310 miles). Of course, catching up with those same bad guys will take some savvy driving considering the Ampera only has a top speed of just 160km/h (99mph) with a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time of a time-consuming 9.0 seconds

Before the car makes it official debut in Geneva, Opel is offering its customers the opportunity to reserve their Ampera with a edposit of only 150 euro (about $203 at the current rates). There will be different models depending on the market, and prices will start from 36,050 euro (about $48,704 at the current rates).

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.

After we have seen the Opel Ampera concept version in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show, this year Opel is taking a step forward with the unveiling of the first prototype of the production Ampera.

The first prototype has received its first charge of electricity and will be put of test on a long-distance drive from Rüsselsheim to Geneva. The Ampera extended-range electric vehicle will use the energy stored in its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery to drive the first stage of the 600 kilometers journey from Rüsselsheim, Germany, to the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, without emitting CO2.

Press release after the jump.

Does something look familiar? Do these pictures look a lot like something we saw in September ?

Opel and Vauxhall get their own versions of the Chevrolet Volt called the Ampera. Usually when cars are developed for other markets and other countries, there are some major changes, but that not the case with the Ampera. The electric car with a gas backing powertrain from the Volt (now called Voltec) was developed to recharge on 110V (standard U.S.) or 230V (standard Europe).

All the other major components of the Volt/Ampera, including the 1.4-liter gas engine, are also utilized in the Chevrolet Cruze , which was designed to be sold around the world. The most notable changes on the Ampera are the visual touches on the front fascia to give the car a family resemblance to GM’s other European offerings.

For journeys up to 60 km, the five-door, four-seat hatchback runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery’s energy is depleted, the gasoline engine will then be used to recharge the battery, and extend the Ampera’s range to more than 500 km. We didn’t bother to convert these figures because we wanted to give our metric-loving friends a break, and they are the same as already reported on the Volt .

Press release after the jump.

We’ve been suspecting that Opel would get its own version of the Chevrolet Volt ever since we first knew General Motors was adapting the car for production. It only makes sense that GM would spread the large development expenses to a continent where fuel costs more and is more eco-conscious than the U.S. Now we have official word that the first glimpse of Opel’s Volt, now called the Ampera, will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

From the supplied teaser image, the front has some obvious linage to the Flextreme concept as well as a little bit of the Insignia . The slice of the side profile that’s exposed also shows the car’s Volt roots. GM spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel with the Volt’s body, so it doesn’t need to start from scratch with the Opel version.

Just like the Volt, the Ampera will be a four-seat, five-door hatchback. It uses the same electric propulsion system, now called Voltec. The Ampera will be an electric-only car for journeys up to 60 km (about 40 miles), after that a an internal combustion engine will supplement the car to extend the range.

What still remains a little bit of a mystery until Geneva will be what kind of internal combustion engine will the Opel use. Although the Volt will use a gasoline engine, GM Europe has a wide range of diesels that may be attractive to eco-minded buyers. Also there has not been any recharge times given for the Ampera’s lithium-ion battery pack. Because most of Europe uses 230v outlets (compared to standard 110v units in the U.S.,) we suspect the charge time should be close to three hours.

Press release after the jump.


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