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Countdown to new Opel GT!

by CAR magazine on 24/01/2006

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Opel has confirmed rumours that it will reincarnate its classic ‘60s sports car, the GT, for the Geneva Show. Little is known about the new GT, apart from its “rear-wheel drive” layout and “potent four-cylinder” engine, but what else can we expect from the newcomer?

Opel has confirmed rumours that it will reincarnate its classic ‘60s sports car, the GT, for the Geneva Show. Little is known about the new GT, apart from its “rear-wheel drive” layout and “potent four-cylinder” engine, but what else can we expect from the newcomer?


CARtoday.com reported last year that General Motors’ sleek Saturn Sky roadster, which was unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Show, could be the US version of the new Opel GT. The Sky was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept, which was created at GM’s Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, and it is believed the same will apply to the new GT, the replacement for the Speedster.


Sources say the GT will be offered in both coupé and roadster versions, and be powered by a 2,0-litre turbocharged Ecotec engine. Opel has thus far only revealed “the new two-seat GT features an exciting design with sharply cut lines” and that the manufacturer “is reviving the legend with a new sports car that echoes the successful concept of its predecessor”.


The original GT was first presented at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show. Designed with the aid of the University of Stuttgart’s wind tunnel, the car’s curvaceous lines were revolutionary – styling cues included a low front-end with pop-up headlights, pronounced rounded wheel arches, a narrow waistline and an abrupt tail.


In 1968, Opel launched the GT 1100 and GT 1900. In 1969, a targa style model, the ‘Aero GT’ was shown at the Frankfurt Show, but it was never put into production. Manufacture of the GT ended in August 1973, and a total of 103 463 units – two thirds of which were sold in US – were built.


What will the GT look like? One can’t tell too much from the preview picture supplied by Opel (see right), but the Saturn Sky might provide some clues … a clamshell bonnet, wide stance, short overhangs, and 18-inch wheels pushed to the corners. The model, set to go into production this year, has projector halogen low beam and reflector-optic halogen high beam headlamps.


Inside, piano-black-and-chrome finishes combine with leather trim, and there is jewel-like detailing on the lighting controls. The car has four-wheel independent short/long arm suspension, coil-over Bilstein shocks, hydraulically-assisted rack and pinion power steering, ABS, and is said to boast “near 50:50 weight distribution”.