Geneva show – GT concept is Vauxhall star


Without doubt a star of the 2016 Geneva Motor Show is the Vauxhall GT concept.

Similar in size to a Mazda MX-5, the GT is a coupe boasting all of the signature sports car design elements – a long bonnet, short cabin and rear-wheel-drive, together with minimalist detailing.

Its design includes inspiration from previous Vauxhall/Opel concepts stretching right back to the 1965 Opel Experimental GT and the Vauxhall XVR of 1966.

Alongside the head-turning styling, the GT is also impressing with its very clean-looking interior, which is entirely operated using touchpads and voice control, self-learning systems recognizing driver preferences.

The GT is powered by a 1-litre turbo engine with 144bhp, which Vauxhall says gives the lightweight car a potential 0-62mph time of under eight seconds and a 134mph top speed.

Vauxhall and sister brand Opel are giving no hint as to whether there are any plans to put the GT or a car based on it into production, merely saying that reactions to the car at Geneva will be noted.

According to Vauxhall/Opel design head Mark Adams, the GT Concept will set the trend for further developments of the brand and shows the design philosophy for future models: expressive, highly emotional and sporty.

“The GT Concept also pays homage to Vauxhall and Opel’s interpretations of a light-weight sports car from the mid-sixties which, like the modern-day GT Concept were thoroughly modern with dynamic sculptural forms,” Adams says.

Currently the group has no suitable front mid-engine and rear-drive platform in its range on which to build such a car, but small sports cars have been part of the range in the past, notably the VX220, and industry views suggest that the project is rather more serious than is being revealed.

Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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