UK buyers will get a tantalising first glimpse of a production-ready Vauxhall Ampera at next week's Geneva Motor Show, ahead of its appearance in British showrooms at the start of next year.
Costing just £28,995, the Vauxhall Ampera will be the first Extended-Range Electric Vehicle to hit UK roads and will give customers the unrivalled potential of emissions-free motoring combined with the real-world usability offered by its range-extender generator, allowing a total range of over 350 miles. In addition, British buyers of the four-seat, five-door E-REV will benefit from zero VED, TLF congestion charge exemption and company car tax of just five per cent.
With 150PS and 370Nm of torque, the Vauxhall Ampera will be no slouch either, achieving 0-60mph in nine seconds and a top speed of 100mph.
Showcasing the exceptional quality and equipment levels buyers can expect when they see the car in Vauxhall showrooms next year, the production Vauxhall Ampera also introduces a unique system of drive modes which enhances its real-world, everyday driveability still further.
Via a 'Drive Mode' button on the dashboard, drivers can choose between Normal (default), Sport, Mountain or Hold modes to optimise the car's energy management depending on prevailing driving and road conditions. In Normal mode, the Vauxhall Ampera employs the charge provided from a normal household outlet to travel up to 50 emission-free miles powered by its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery - suitable for a majority of average, 40-mile commutes. When the battery's energy level drops below its minimum charge point, the engine-generator kicks in to supply electricity to the electric motor, enabling extended range travel. Regenerative braking will sustain the charge still further.
Boosting performance still further, Sport mode improves throttle response, while Mountain mode enables the range-extender to run before the battery reaches its minimum state of charge. Drivers select this mode after a full charge, or 10 to 15 minutes before entering mountainous terrain, allowing optimum performance up sustained inclines.
Combined with Hold mode, which engages the range-extender immediately, preserving charge stored in the battery for urban areas or restricted emission zones, the Drive Modes allow Vauxhall Ampera customers to use their cars in a wide range of driving situations, with no disadvantage over a car using conventional power.
"The Ampera is currently the only real-world solution for everyday driving," said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall's Managing Director. "This will be the first car in Britain to successfully combine a revolutionary propulsion system, progressive styling, excellent safety and superb driving dynamics."
Over 100 'ePioneers' have joined the Vauxhall Ampera community as potential customers. They receive exclusive information and services and will be among the first to take the Ampera for a test drive. The Vauxhall Ampera has also caught the attention of Vauxhall/Opel brand ambassador, Katie Melua, who is currently travelling with the E-REV groundbreaker on her European tour. "I like the way environmental protection and sustainability come together in the Ampera," said the British singer.Published 22 February 2011