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Vauxhall reveals GT Concept

Vauxhall has revealed its new GT Concept ahead of a Geneva Motorshow debut.

The brands vision of a future sports car is described as ’purebred, pared down, yet unashamedly avant-garde’. The GT Concept is even shorn of door handles and door mirrors, and features a front mid-engined, rear-wheel drive chassis that will ‘appeal to driving enthusiasts’.

The GT name mirrors that of the 1964 GT Concept, the first styling model to be produced by the Vauxhall Design and Engineering Centre in Luton which opened the same year. The 2016 concept pays homage to two significant motor show cars: the 1966 Vauxhall XVR  (Xperimental Vauxhall Research) and the 1965 Opel Experimental GT - particularly with the long bonnet and central dual exhausts. Fifty years later, the GT Concept has a red signature line that splits the vehicle body horizontally and distinctive red tyres – mounted on rims with a ‘roller-skate’ design – which are a reference to an Vauxhall/Opel motorbike from the 1920s – the Motoclub 500 – which sported red-coloured rubber.

The GT Concept’s front-mid engine configuration keeps the car’s centre of gravity low and central for ‘excellent dynamics’. Beneath its stretched bonnet is a turbocharged 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, based on the all-aluminium unit used in the ADAM, Corsa and Astra. Developing 145PS and maximum torque of 205Nm, the engine delivers drive to the rear wheels, via a six-speed sequential transmission operated by steering-wheel mounted paddle shift. Weighing under 1000kgs, the GT Concept accelerates from 0-62mph in less than eight seconds and on to a maximum speed of 134mph.

The GT Concept uses ultra-modern projection technology, with a three-dimensional beam which allows glare-free high-beam driving. Based on Vauxhall’s IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, first seen in the recently launched Astra, the GT Concept sees the intelligent lighting system’s next stage of development. The design of the lights is completed by the three-dimensional design of the tail lamps.

A key innovation is the cars large doors with integrated side windows that show a seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces. Both driver and front passenger gain access to the spacious interior after pressing a touchpad for the electric doors that is integrated in the red signature line of the roof. The doors open into the front arches, using a space-saving and patented mounting that allows a large opening angle for tight parking spaces in urban areas. Two cameras mounted behind the wheel arches offer enhanced visibility, especially in city driving. They transmit their images to two monitors on the left- and right-hand side of the cabin, rendering external mirrors obsolete. The windscreen flows into a glass panorama roof, affording occupants a similar experience to that of a targa-topped car, according to Vauxhall.

The Geneva Motorshow runs from March 3-13.