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The Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E is a new concept that will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show today.

Measuring 4.7 meters in length the Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E an electric vehicle that features a drag coefficient of only 0.22 and can reach a top speed of 125 mph.

Fitted with the E-REV drive system already implemented in the Vauxhall Ampera, the Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E is able to cover 40 miles with just power coming from its batteries while total range is extended to 300 miles when the small petrol engine also being used.

Average fuel consumption for the Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E is 175 mpg with CO2 emissions of less than 40 g/Km. 

Vauxhall press release :

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

In Vauxhall’s commitment to achieving power without the need forfossil fuels, electricity plays a key role, and the 4.7-metre longFlextreme GT/E concept illustrates how extended-range electric vehicle(E-REV) technology can be plugged into large or mid-sized vehicles, aswell 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 vehiclesacross all market

segments. In other words, the Flextreme GT/E conceptshows that size really doesn’t matter when it comes to driving a carwith zero CO2emissions.

Sleek and aerodynamic, the Flextreme GT/E achieves a projected dragco-efficient of just 0.22, allowing it to reach an estimated top speedof 125mph-plus while conserving energy and extending the driving range.Stand-out visual features include a low, wide stance, wing-shapedlights 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 extendednose section, which is clasped by wing-shaped, signature LED headlamps,which are in turn carved into the front wings and across the bonnetline. The new trapezoidal grille is slim but bold, with the prominentwing-shaped chrome bar carrying a large Vauxhall emblem, which doublesas a socket for charging the Flextreme GT/E’s battery pack.

The upper section of the grille is used to admit cooling air, thelower portion being covered by a translucent panel. The absence ofadditional air intakes allows a low frontal area for aerodynamicefficiency and also enables the Flextreme GT/E to meet futurepedestrian protection requirements.

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

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

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

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

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

Managing airflow and saving weight

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

A series of measures optimise airflow management. The 21-inch alloywheels are relatively narrow, to reduce wind resistance, and are fittedwith 195/45, low rolling resistance tyres. Clear, flush-mounted triminserts also minimise air turbulence. 

The small front intake improves airflow around the nose of the carand the underbody sweeps up, venturi-like, at the rear to furtherreduce drag.

The Flextreme GT/E also explores the potential for active shapeshifting.  At speeds above 30mph, a vertical panel extends along thebody from the air extraction slot behind each rear wheel-arch. These350 mm-long side spoilers guide high-speed airflow around the rearcorners 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 andaluminum alloy structural components. Compared with conventionalmaterials, these offer a 40 per cent weight saving which furthercontributes to reduced energy consumption and an increased drivingrange.

Powertrain

The Flextreme GT/E concept also includes the groundbreaking E-REVdrive system, already developed for the Vauxhall Ampera.Despite itsgreater size and a maximum speed of more than 125mph, the FlextremeGT/E is estimated to offer performance similar to that of the Ampera: abattery-powered driving range of up to 40 miles – with zero CO2tailpipe emissions – and a total range of over 300 miles.  Average fuel consumption is estimated at 175mpg, with CO2emissions of less than 40g/km.

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

However, unlike a battery-only electric vehicle, the Flextreme GT/Eeliminates any possibility of range anxiety through fear of beingstranded without power. The small petrol engine/generator is seamlesslyengaged to provide electricity whenever the battery’s supply becomesdepleted. In this mode, the driving range is extended to more than 300miles, until the plug-in battery pack can be recharged or the car isrefueled.

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

The Flextreme GT/E concept is a logical next step towards Vauxhall’semerging strategy for the electrification of the car, which will intime include products using battery, extended-range, hybrid and fuelcell technologies.

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