Opel Ampera Extended-Range Electric Car Would Look Right at Home in Saturn Lineup

Opel Ampera Extended-Range Electric Car Would Look Right at Home in Saturn Lineup

Opel will unveil its version of the revolutionary Chevrolet Volt at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show in March. The extended-range electric vehicle, which Opel will call the Ampera, will be a five-door, four-seat model that shares styling cues with both the Volt and last year's popular Flextreme concept. The Ampera is similar in size to the Saturn Astra. GM's ground-breaking electric propulsion technology, called Voltec, operates differently from other advanced propulsion systems. For short trips up to 60 km, the Ampera will run only on lithium-ion battery power charged via a standard 230v outlet. For longer distances, the car will continue to drive on electricity that is generated by a small internal combustion engine. According to the press release that accompanied that teaser photo above, approximately 80% of German drivers travel less than 50 km daily. Additional information about the Opel Ampera will be released March 3rd.

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Video: Insight Into the Saturn Astra's Design

Astra Chief Designer Friedhelm Enlger

In this video clip, the Astra's chief designer, Friedhelm Enlger, talks about the all-new compact Saturn and shares some insight into what a few of the goals were for the car from a design and styling perspective. While the Astra was designed in Germany, Saturn reports that Enlger has moved from Europe to a General Motors Design Center in China where he is leading a team of folks working on next-generation vehicles.