Opel Flextreme Concept

Opels Flextreme concept car, which made its premiere at the 2007 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, boasts the body of a dynamic monocab, as well as the completely new environmentally friendly E-Flex electric propulsion concept and a host of innovative details. Flextreme is part of GMs ongoing commitment to develop vehicles that reduce CO2 emissions and the automobiles dependency on petroleum. In contrast to conventional vehicles and hybrids, GMs E-Flex system uses an electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery, to propel the Opel Flextreme concept for up to 55 km of electric-drive-only range.

The Flextremes drivetrain is a good indication of what low-emission mobility could look like in the mid-term. It is based on General Motors electric vehicle architecture E-Flex and is always electrically powered. The energy source is a lithium-ion battery, and additional energy comes from a 1.3-liter CDTI engine as needed. This engine is not connected to the wheels; it is only on board to charge the batteries when they are empty and no plug-in facility is available, thereby extending the operating range. The concept cars diesel engine features latest technology that helps to further reduce exhaust and noise emissions. The cylinders pressure-based closed loop technology is used to control the combustion process.

A look at the front of the car quickly reveals that the front grill and rims are covered by lightweight transparent trim, which is made from polycarbonate to improve aerodynamics while maintaining visual aesthetics. The same is true for the special light alloy wheels. Their look remains unchanged, yet disruptive air turbulence is avoided.

Like the wheel design, the large boomerang-like curved front light units are visually deceptive. The designers continue a theme which began with the GTC Concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, and take it to a new level. The vertically oriented front lights slice up the front end in an unusual manner. The boomerang shaped high tech LED headlamp unit houses lightweight crossbeam, fog lamps and air intake for brake cooling which are particularly small in comparison to current trends. The optical illusion continues with the tail lights: at first glance, the concept car appears to have none. The curved rear lights are completely integrated into the tailgates and hidden beneath glass.

Honeycomb structures, which are characterized by low weight and high rigidity, are used extensively in the Flextremes interior. This functional, geometric structure can be found in the instrument panels lower portion, cabin floor, cargo floor and above the center tunnel where the lithium-ion batteries are located.

Innovative lightweight construction is used for the seats which are anchored to the cars floor by a mono track rather than the usual two, creating more foot space in the rear. The seats have a light and elegant look thanks to refined upholstery, with some parts in fabric/mesh and corners made of especially soft material. The steering wheel hub also houses a high-tech feature: a full-size driver airbag that is packaged with a special vacuum technique that reduces its overall volume to the minimum.

Source: Opel press

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