GT X Experimental Shows The Future Of The Opel/Vauxhall Brand Under French Rule

Opel revealed a new car - the GT X Experimental. It is only a concept car, but this term should be used with caution here as this is basically the first car Opel/Vauxhall revealed following PSA Group’s acquisition of the brand by GM less than a year ago. The new pseudo-crossover showcases all the important evolution steps Opel is about to take to transform General Motors ideas into something new. The first ideas are already out. By 2024, Opel will electrify all of its lineup, introduce a redeveloped and unified design language, release a number of crossovers, develop an autonomous driving system, and show a number of new models. Expect replacements for the Corsa, the Astra, and the Mokka, among others.

The concept Opel GT X Experimental is the first proper look into that future. After all, the GT X Experimental features an electric powertrain, Level 3 self-driving ability, it is a sort of a crossover, and it gives us a glimpse into the new design language. Obviously, Opel designers took some of the stylistic features from the Opel GT Concept from 2016 and adapted them for the new car as well.

What Is The GT X Experimental?

In the simplest of terms, it is a supermini among crossovers. With a length of a tad less than 160 inches, Opel managed to integrate four doors, four seats with enough room for large people, and a minimalistic yet functional dashboard into the GT X Experimental. Personally, I find that the rear door stretching to the very end of the car rather intriguing.

This design, along with a height of more than 60 inches and a minimalistic layout, is what’s responsible for the roomie atmosphere and practical nature of the GT X Experimental. Although we are far from actually seeing solutions like these in the real world, the possibilities are obvious. Opel and Vauxhall, with their PSA Group parents, will focus on creating cars that offer even more utility, practicality, and convenience. The small GT X Experimental is a clear testament to that line of thinking.

The Exterior

2018 Opel GT X Experimental Exterior
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The exterior of the new GT X Experimental reveals a lot about the future of the brand.

The exterior of the new GT X Experimental reveals a lot about the future of the brand. The Germans (under French rule - this sounds strange) do aim to redevelop the brand, but they are also trying to do so with a number of unique styling traits previously unseen on Opel vehicles. First of all, the striking front end with the elongated grill that surrounds the thin front lights reminds of a classic American muscle car from yesteryear. However, this is not an intake, but actually, a stylistic cue that Opel cleverly used to stuff in some important tech like the sensors and cameras for the Level 3 autonomous system.

Yet, despite this trait, Opel made the car like this to entice some sort of friendly appeal and embody the values that the new Opel under PSA holds dear to.

“We need to strictly follow our brand values in everything we do,” Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller said in a statement. “The identity of our brand is our future; that is why I charged our design and engineering teams with visualizing these values by means of a concept car.”

If you ask me, we are still far from an all-new Opel car designed and released under the PSA Group. See, the development process is a tiresome one, and we can expect something fully new in 2022 in the best case scenario. For now, the GT X Experimental is probably built upon the EMP1 platform that the PSA Group uses for a number of its cars. Nevertheless, the Opel production model is still some time off.

2018 Opel GT X Experimental Exterior
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Styling cues of the GT X Experimental will, most certainly, be translated to the production versions of small Opel cars

Styling cues of the GT X Experimental will, most certainly, be translated to the production versions of small Opel cars. I can see the Corsa using some of the dashing shapes of the GT X. However, the car that is most likely to look like the GT X Experimental is the Mokka. That is the smallest Opel crossover that is actually based on top of the Chevrolet Trax. The new one, obviously, won’t be.

Opel showed just how dedicated the company will be to using the cues shown here on its next-gen models by creating two different styles called the Opel Compass and the Opel Vizor. As this is quite challenging to explain, I’ll let you read what Opel PR actually says about it:

“The Opel Compass organizes the design elements along two strong axes that intersect the Blitz. The legendary brand emblem is now the focus point more than ever before. In a crisper and purer execution, the center-crease line on the bonnet represents the vertical axis, which is prolonged under the Blitz.”

2018 Opel GT X Experimental Exterior
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“The Opel Vizor is a full, single module that frames all of the high-tech and brand elements such as the LED Blitz emblem that shows the car’s operation state by lighting up in different colours, the LED matrix headlights, the wing-shaped daytime running lights as well as all cameras and sensors of the assistance systems and autonomous driving functions under darkly tinted Plexiglas.”

This Plexiglass is actually that thing up front that looks like a grill but isn’t one. All future Opel cars will probably have this feature.

GT X Experimental Performance

2018 Opel GT X Experimental Exterior
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The electric powertrain in the GT X Experimental hints at the electrification of the entire Opel lineup

As I was saying, the electric powertrain in the GT X Experimental hints at the electrification of the entire Opel lineup. By 2024, the brand will introduce electric assisted, or fully electric propulsion systems for all of its cars. This Includes the newcomers and the popular successors. The GT X Experimental’s electric motors aren’t fully revealed as of yet, but Opel did reveal that the car features a 50-kWh, “compact next-generation lithium-ion battery with inductive charging.” I don’t really know what to make of this as the PSA Group isn’t exactly known for its electric and hybrid cars.

Nevertheless, Opel does promise all the imaginable modern gear for its upcoming cars. The GT X Experimental apparently has it all. Plus, it rides on 17-inch wheels which, thanks to some clever tire design, look far larger.

Ampera-E Story?

2017 Opel Ampera-e High Resolution Exterior
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The Opel Ampera-E is a rebadged Chevrolet Bolt sold in Europe. Apart from the new Mokka (Under development on the PSA Group CMP platform), the GT X Experimental gives us unique insight into what will become the next Ampera-E. Or, at the very least, what will succeed the Ampera-E. Having a car showcase the future of the whole brand and each vehicle the company plans to produce may be strange, but it seems that the GT X Experimental did just that. Nevertheless, after selling Opel to the PSA Group, GM limited the licenses for some vehicles.

The Ampera-E is among those vehicles, and a new-generation Corsa with an all-electric powertrain will replace it in future. Now, I am quite interested in what the new Corsa will look like as the GT X Experimental is actually a small crossover. Will the new Corsa transit from a city dweller into the crossover habitat? This would not be the first time that troubled automakers (which Opel most certainly is nowadays) transformed some of their best-known names into a crossover. The Mach1 will become an SUV, the Eclipse from Mitsubishi became one too.

These are only my thoughts, but the fact is that the Corsa Electric will replace the Ampera-E, and the Ampera-E isn’t a city dweller.

Further reading

2016 Opel GT Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the Opel GT Concept

2017 Opel Ampera-e High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Opel Ampera-E.

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Read more Opel news.

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