The Opel Speedster was introduced as a concept car during the 1999 Geneva Motor Show and went into production in March 2000. It was born as a result of a partnership between General Motors and Lotus, and was mechanically related to the then-new Lotus Elise. The two had some major differences, though, including the engine, and the motoring press at the time described the Speedster as a great driver’s car. Jeremy Clarkson even said it was better value for money than the Lotus.
Despite the positive reactions, the Speedster remained an exotic product of which only about 7,200 were manufactured between 2000 and 2005. It was sold with an Opel badge in Europe, as well as under the Vauxhall VX220 moniker in the United Kingdom and the Daewoo Speedster in other markets. Now, one of the relatively few examples still on the road is here to show us what it is capable of.
It’s important to note that this is not a stock car. In factory form, the Speedster was available with either a 2.2-liter naturally aspirated gas engine with 145 horsepower (108 kilowatts) or a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo with 200 hp (149 kW). With a weight of only 1,929 pounds (875 kilograms) in NA form and 2,050 lbs (930 kg) with the turbocharged engine, it had a decent performance.
But decent performance was probably not what the owner of this particular car wanted and the car’s 2.2-liter engine received a supercharger. It helped the four-cylinder unit produce about 250 hp (186 kW) and reach a top speed of 141 miles per hour (227 kilometers per hour) on the German Autobahn. What’s even more interesting, because of the car's poor sound insulation, the whining of the supercharger is very noticeable inside the cabin and it’s definitely a very charming sound.