Opel's upcoming plug-in hybrid the Ampera has been caught completely undisguised.
How's that for fast? Hot on the heels of the first computer renderings of the Opel Ampera, we've got actual spy photos of the car, captured during a closed video shoot just prior to its debut in Geneva next month.
Design sketches of the Ampera, which is the European-market version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, leaked to the web just yesterday. The Ampera prototype caught in photos looks production-ready and it's possible this white car is in the process of being shot for the press kit. The styling, a blending of the Insignia sedan and Flextreme concept car, is clearly similar to that of the computer-rendered drawing, though the actual car shows a deeper chin spoiler and a taller body than the design sketch. While the car in the sketches looks like a four-door sedan, the production Ampera will be a five-door.
The Ampera is scheduled to go on sale in 2011, and shares GM's "Voltec" plug-in hybrid system that's set to be introduced in the Chevrolet Volt. Propulsion is provided by a full-time electric motor, with a small gasoline engine/generator aboard to charge the lithium-ion batteries when needed. GM says that the Voltec system will propel the Volt and Ampera up to forty miles (65 km) on a single charge. The engine/generator increases the range to about 500 miles (800 km). Recharging is expected to take 2-3 hours from a standard 230-volt European outlet.
The Ampera makes its official debut at GM's Geneva press conference on March 3.