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									World Premiere Geneva Motor Show 2010

  VAUXHALL RELEASES FIRST OFFICIAL PICS OF FLEXTREME
                          GT/E CONCEPT

     Dramatic design meets environmental technology
     Alternative propulsion: shows versatility of Vauxhall’s E-
      REV technology



Geneva/Luton – These are the first official images of Vauxhall’s
stunning Flextreme GT/E concept car, which will be revealed at
the Geneva Motor Show today.

In Vauxhall’s commitment to achieving power without the need
for fossil fuels, electricity plays a key role, and the 4.7-metre long
Flextreme GT/E concept illustrates how extended-range electric
vehicle (E-REV) technology can be plugged into large or mid-
sized vehicles, as well as compact cars, like the upcoming
Ampera.

Vauxhall calls its strategy ‘e-mobility unlimited’, which will
effectively adapt the highly efficient E-REV drive system –
which removes the limitations of battery-only power – to vehicles
across all market segments. In other words, the Flextreme GT/E
concept shows that size really doesn’t matter when it comes to
driving a car with zero C02 emissions.

Sleek and aerodynamic, the Flextreme GT/E achieves a projected
drag co-efficient of just 0.22, allowing it to reach an estimated
top speed of 125mph-plus while conserving energy and extending
the driving range. Stand-out visual features include a low, wide
stance, wing-shaped lights front and rear, a distinctive nose and
grille, ‘floating’ C-pillars and muscular, sculptured bodywork.

Exterior design

The clean frontal styling features a low bonnet line and an
extended nose section, which is clasped by wing-shaped,
signature LED headlamps, which are in turn carved into the
front wings and across the bonnet line. The new trapezoidal grille
is slim but bold, with the prominent wing-shaped chrome bar
carrying a large Vauxhall emblem, which doubles as a socket for
charging the Flextreme GT/E’s battery pack.

The upper section of the grille is used to admit cooling air, the
lower portion being covered by a translucent panel. The absence
of additional air intakes allows a low frontal area for
aerodynamic efficiency and also enables the Flextreme GT/E to
meet future pedestrian protection requirements.



The sculpted bonnet, with a Vauxhall-signature central crease
line, features narrow longitudinal vents on either side to draw
air out of the engine compartment. The muscular wings and
wheel-arches sweep back into the side-body.

In profile, the Flextreme GT/E is distinguished by innovative,
stubbed C-pillars. This floating design allows the glasshouse to be
extended rearwards under the arching roofline, emphasising the
flowing lines of the side-body. Vauxhall’s signature blade motif
is reinterpreted in a swooping swage line from the base of the C-
pillar into the lower front wing.

Access to the cabin is enhanced by the adoption of rear-hinged
rear doors, an evolution of the FlexDoors concept from the new
generation Meriva. To preserve the clean exterior looks, all door
handles are replaced by light sensors. These trigger the doors to
open when covered by the driver’s or passenger’s hand. To reduce
air turbulence, exterior front door mirrors are also absent,
replaced by small camera pods in the base of the A-pillars.

At the rear, a strong shoulder line embraces sculpted wheel-
arches that further emphasise the Flextreme GT/E’s wide, ground-
hugging stance. The coupé look is completed by a steeply raked
tailgate, carrying wing-shaped LED light units which echo the
form of the front headlamps. And taking a leaf from the Insignia
Sports Tourer’s book, the tailgate has a wraparound design for
improved boot access, enhanced by a convex deep glass screen to
improve airflow.

The transparency of the fixed glass panel in the centre of the roof
is adaptive, allowing sunlight to warm the interior in the cold of
winter, but darkening for coolness in summer. A duct at the rear
edge of the roof is for additional cooling of the battery and
electronic components.

Managing airflow and saving weight

Integral to the Flextreme GT/E’s dramatic looks is the efficiency of
the design execution. The small frontal area, low roof height
(1308 mm) and a flat, enclosed underbody all enable the car to
cleave the air with a minimum of disturbance.

A series of measures optimise airflow management. The 21-inch
alloy wheels are relatively narrow, to reduce wind resistance,
and are fitted with 195/45, low rolling resistance tyres. Clear,
flush-mounted trim inserts also minimise air turbulence.

The small front intake improves airflow around the nose of the
car and the underbody sweeps up, venturi-like, at the rear to
further reduce drag.
The Flextreme GT/E also explores the potential for active shape
shifting. At speeds above 30mph, a vertical panel extends along
the body from the air extraction slot behind each rear wheel-
arch. These 350 mm-long side spoilers guide high-speed airflow
around the rear corners of the car, further reducing the amount
of turbulence.

Mass reduction measures for the body include the use of
lightweight, carbon composite outer panels, polycarbonate
window glazing and aluminum alloy structural components.
Compared with conventional materials, these offer a 40 per cent
weight saving which further contributes to reduced energy
consumption and an increased driving range.

Powertrain

The Flextreme GT/E concept also includes the groundbreaking E-
REV drive system, already developed for the Vauxhall Ampera.
Despite its greater size and a maximum speed of more than
125mph, the Flextreme GT/E is estimated to offer performance
similar to that of the Ampera: a battery-powered driving range of
up to 40 miles – with zero CO2 tailpipe emissions – and a total
range of over 300 miles. Average fuel consumption is estimated at
175mpg, with CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.

Unlike a hybrid vehicle, the wheels of the Flextreme GT/E are
powered at all times by electricity. For typical journeys up to 40
miles, energy is supplied by a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack
located under the floor and rear seat.

However, unlike a battery-only electric vehicle, the Flextreme
GT/E eliminates any possibility of range anxiety through fear of
being stranded without power. The small petrol engine/generator
is seamlessly engaged to provide electricity whenever the battery’s
supply becomes depleted. In this mode, the driving range is
extended to more than 300 miles, until the plug-in battery pack
can be recharged or the car is refueled.

The motor in the electric drive unit delivers a substantial 370Nm
of instant torque, giving lively performance and projected zero to
62mph acceleration in less than nine seconds.

The Flextreme GT/E concept is a logical next step towards
Vauxhall’s emerging strategy for the electrification of the car,
which will in time include products using battery, extended-
range, hybrid and fuel cell technologies.

ENDS

Press contact:

Simon Hucknall 00 44 (0)7736 732507
     simon.hucknall@gm.com




                                                    01/03/10 (134)

								
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