GTC Concept Heralds New Design Era For Vauxhall | Part Two

Vauxhall GTC Concept

Vauxhall GTC Concept

Interior design

Vauxhall and Opel’s interior designs have progressed to become warmer and more inviting in products like the new Corsa and Antara. However, the GTC Concept represents the next chapter of the interior brand identity. Echoing the exterior, the interior shapes and surfaces articulate a dynamic driving experience. The dashboard’s top-pad wraps around from the instrument panel to the door, embracing the occupants. The sweeping décor dynamically stretches one’s eye from the surfaces of the door and instrument panel, and the horizontal theme is secured with a large integrated centrestack design floating above the décor surface, an appearance reminiscent of premium audio equipment.

Complementing the exterior material theme, matt ebony surfaces are contrasted with rich high-gloss piano black décor finishes and structurally elegant aluminium accents. The U-shaped aluminium graphic on the steering wheel is reflected again on the centre console and the gear shifter, visually connecting the driving interfaces. The rotating navigation control is ergonomically positioned, allowing it to easily be located and controlled by the driver, without having to remove their eyes from the road. The four, sporty, round instruments encircled by translucent rings are backlit in dynamic red, replacing traditional amber tones. As a final twist, the “redline” graphic of the tyre pattern is vertically woven into the contoured sport seats and the centreline of the steering wheel.

Intelligent packaging

“In the last few years, many cars have grown bigger without passengers benefiting from it. We have reversed this trend with the GTC Concept. In comparatively compact exterior dimensions, we optimised the dimensions in the interior,” says Frank Leopold, Manager GME Innovation, Show Cars and Advanced Packaging. “In this way, the car fits like a glove.”

With the lower seating position and vertical hip point - known as the H-point - both front occupants sit perfectly integrated in the car. Thanks to the lower-set instrument panel, outward visibility remains excellent. This also provides a generous sense of space, an effect strengthened by its colour: the instrument panel’s upper section is dark, while the lower section is light.

The intelligent packaging is further highlighted by plenty of space in the rear of the car, despite its flat roof line: rear headroom is 920 millimetres. The rear seats are set low, but the four-seat, two-door car still offers brand-typical flexibility thanks to a novelty developed by engineers: the “Flex4” interior concept.

“Flex4” enables the backs of both the rear seats in the Coupé concept car to be moved forward separately at the touch of a button via sensor-control and docked to the front seats. The luggage compartment cover is thereby automatically pulled over the remaining seat surfaces in the floor. This creates a three or two-seater with a flat load floor up to 1.80 metres long. Luggage compartment capacity increases from 500 litres to 755 litres (three-seater) or up to 1020 litres (maximum capacity: up to waistline).

Powerful engine and intelligent four-wheel drive system

The GTC concept car is powered by a turbocharged, 300PS, 2.8-litre V6 petrol engine with two variable camshafts, which is combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Maximum torque of 400Nm is available from 1,850 up to 4,500rpm, and accelerating from zero to 62mph is calculated to take around six seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

The power from the high-tech turbo engine is channelled via an advanced, electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system, which is fully integrated into the car’s adaptive IDSPlus chassis management system. An electronically-regulated torque transfer device seamlessly distributes power between the front and rear axles for optimum traction and driving performance. The high-speed control allows more power to be provided to the rear axle before any traction loss can occur, for example during quick acceleration. This creates a driving feel similar to a sporty rear-wheel drive car. An electronically-controlled limited slip differential at the rear axle provides additional stability and traction thanks to torque distribution between the rear wheels.

Major benefits of the GTC Concept’s intelligent four-wheel drive system are optimum traction and stability in all driving conditions as well as excellent agility and an active driving feel.

Published 7 March 2007 Melanie Carter

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