So there’s an Opel Monza concept car headed for the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Whoopty-freakin’-do. As we know, the German Adam Opel company shares a good chunk of its development dollars with Buick, so there’s a chance we could see a production version eventually make it as a Buick coupe. It’s not like Buick isn’t already mulling the idea as it is…
That’s not the real story to be told here, though. What we care about is what’s powering the Opel Monza concept car. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. As we saw a few weeks back, that engine is expected to make 115 horsepower. It won’t be driving the Monza’s wheels; it’s a range extender for an electric motor system, previewing what will undoubtedly find its way into the next-generation Chevrolet Volt.
The 1.4-liter engine in the current Chevrolet Volt makes right around 80 horsepower and only ever drives the wheels under heavy loads, i.e. when you’re trying to pass another driver at death-defying speeds on a twisty mountain road. The new powertrain is expected to be more fuel-efficient, more powerful, and hopefully not require Premium gasoline like the current Volt.
Opel and its British clone Vauxhall have been struggling in Europe amid an ailing economy overseas and a lackluster image from years of lousy products. Apparently, Americans are less averse to forgiving GM’s so-so reputation after receiving a host of all-new and improved cars and trucks than the Yurps. Still, the Opel Monza gives us hope that there’s plenty of gas left in the tank of GM’s European arm.
The Opel Monza concept uses LED projection technology for its infotainment and instrument displays and previews a new design direction that the company says is evocative of waves lapping onto a shore. Whatever it is, it’s a knock-out that we hope makes it to some of our Buick models, if only in details. We’ll give you more details as we get them.