Opel is in the final stages of developing its version of the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV. Called Ampera-e, it differs only in relatively small styling details like bumpers and lights, and an Opelized interior.
On a recent visit to his European outpost, General Motors President Dan Ammann joined Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann for a drive in late-stage Ampera-e development mule, filmed for posterity in the video above.
Ammann came away suitably impressed, noting that “acceleration is pretty good.”
“That’s what we wanted it to be,” Neumann replies, stating the obvious somewhat.
In fairness, though, the Ampera-e should be a peppy performer, despite having to drag around a heavy battery pack. The electric motor packs 204 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and 266 pound-feet of torque (360 Newton meters).
Opel quotes a 0 to 30 miles-per-hour (0 to 50 kilometers-per-hour) sprint of 3.2 seconds, which will be useful in town. It doesn’t lack punch at higher speeds either, with a 50 to 75 mph (80 to 120 km/h) time of 4.5 seconds.
Opel has been here before. In 2010 it launched its own version of the Chevrolet Volt, badged Ampera. Unlike that car, which used a range-extender hybrid powertrain, the Ampera-e is a pure electric car with a claimed range of around 200 miles (320 kilometers). By contrast, the Nissan Leaf, likely to be its main rival, only manages 155 miles (250 km) between charges with the biggest 30 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Opel has not yet confirmed exactly when the Ampera-e will go on sale, which markets it will be available in, or even how much it will cost. In the United States, the Chevy Bolt EV is expected to cost $37,500 - around €31,000. That’s quite expensive for a car that’s roughly the same size as a Ford Fiesta, but it compares well with the top-spec Leaf, and the Ampera-e should be very well-equipped. The Bolt is expected to feature a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satnav, Spotify music streaming and gesture recognition as standard.
The last words go to Ammann and Neumann. As his drive ended he opined: “There must be good demand for this car.” To which Neumann replied: “Yes, I am absolutely convinced of that.” Again, stating the obvious somewhat.