Opel Concept Gives Strong Clues To Rakish Next-Generation Vectra

The Opel GTC’s low-slung profile has already led to it being dubbed the “new Calibra”. But according to GM insiders, it’s a lot more radical than that. The car’s coupe profile is what you’ll get with next year’s new Vectra.

“Imagine the GTC with two extra doors. That’s Vectra,” said one GM executive who’s seen finished Vectra prototypes. The Vectra will take a radical approach with regard to saloon and hatch versions too - they’ll be virtually identical in terms of styling, and will share the same side profile.

There could be another bonus for the UK too - as with Corsa last year, the timing of the new Vectra makes a launch at the 2008 London Motor Show a distinct possibility. GM spokesmen confirmed the production Vectra would not be launched at the 2008 Geneva Show, but its on-sale date of September 2008 would be too early for the Paris Show. A London date in June or July could suit GM down to the ground, and would provide a welcome boost for the UK show.

The new Vectra’s “four-door coupe” looks signal a shift in attitude toward Vauxhall’s upper medium contender. Whereas Vectra has traditionally been a fleet vehicle, more and more private buyers are choosing the current model, and that’s something GM wants to encourage. “With the current Vectra, around 30% of buyers are private. With the old Vectra more than 90% of sales were to fleets.

The GTC is powered by a 300bhp, 2.8-litre V6 turbo petrol engine, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission and features an electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system. Its sleek bodywork gives a cD of just 0.25.

Also at Geneva was a hot version of the new Corsa. The VXR version will be priced £15,595 in the UK, undercutting its prime competitor, the Renault Clio 197, when it goes on sale at the end of March. Vauxhall expects to sell 3,500 Corsa VXRs a year - and claims it already has orders for 2,000.

Published 9 March 2007 Melanie Carter

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