Two days ago we told you that the Opel Ampera will be discontinued due to weak demand and the German manufacturer owned by GM was not planning to replace the vehicle when the second-generation Chevrolet Volt will arrive. Still, it appears that the Opel Ampera will definitely have a successor in the electric vehicle segment as the company plans to keep its position as an innovative leader.
Opel said in a statement that electric mobility remains important to them and the development will continue in order to drive down costs and deliver affordability. The new model will be launched between 2014 and 2018, but the manufacturer refused to give us any more details.
We do know that the successor is codenamed BEV (battery electric vehicle) and will be much smaller and cheaper than the Opel Ampera.
For those who don’t know, the Opel Ampera is powered by a 1.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder gasoline range extender that delivers 84 hp and powers the 55 kW generator, as well as an electric motor with peak output of 149 hp (111 kW) and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque.
Ampera offers a 60 km all-electric range and it is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9 seconds, with a top speed limited at 161 km/h.
Opel has taken the wraps off the new Opel Ampera for the global public at the 79th Geneva Motor Show, with General Motors Europe president Carl-Peter Forster gracing the unveiling. During the show, Forster revealed plans to start the production of the extended-range electric vehicle in late 2011.
The five-door, four-seat Opel Ampera will also be offered as a right-hand drive model in the United Kingdom by Vauxhall, Opel's sister-brand.
Forster remarked that the Ampera is a demonstration of GM's leadership in the electrification of the vehicle, adding that its Voltec electric propulsion system is a game-changing technology the auto industry needs as a response to energy and environmental challenges.
The overall looks of the new Ampera is heavily influenced by Opel's design language of sculptural artistry meets German precision. It adopts a number of design cues from the Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars.
Alain Visser, GME Vice President for Opel, quipped that the reveal of the Ampera is the most fitting way to celebrate Opel's 110th anniversary.
Opel engineered the wheels of the Ampera to be turned electrically at all times and speeds. The Ampera could also run on zero-emission all-electric mode up to a distance of 60 km, getting its juice from a 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. Once the energy of the battery is depleted, the engine-generator sends electric power to the engine, thereby extending the range of the Ampera to more than 500 km.