Vauxhall is aiming to rekindle its enthusiast audience with this, the GT Coupe Concept. While this isn’t a production car – and probably won’t every be – it previews what future sporty Vauxhalls could look like.
Vauxhall GT Coupe styling
The long bonnet and central exhausts hark back to the original XVR and GT projects from the ’60s but the GT concept also gets some unique design feature of its own.
The signature red line running along the roof disguises a touchpad that opens the doors. Those large doors themselves open into the front wheel arches to help provide easier access and cameras mounted behind each rear wheel arch negate the need to fit wing mirrors. The front windscreen also extends into the panoramic roof.
Elsewhere, the wheels supposedly have a roller-skate-like design, while the red tyres installed on the front make reference to the iconic Opel Motoclub 500 motorbike from the 1920s.
Vauxhall GT Coupe driving and engines
Vauxhall is aiming to appeal to driving enthusiasts with the GT’s front-engined, rear-wheel drive chassis layout – a classic sports car hallmark.
Underneath the GT’s long bonnet sits Vauxhall’s 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine also found in the Adam, Corsa and Astra. The location of the engine helps keep the GT’s centre of gravity as low as possible improving handling.
With the GT weighing less than 1,000kg, the engine’s 143hp will be enough to propel the GT from 0-62mph in less than eight seconds. Top speed will be 134mph with gear changes made via steering-wheel paddles for a six-speed sequential transmission.
Vauxhall GT Coupe specs
The GT will also be fitted with the latest version of Vauxhall’s LED headlights first installed on the current Astra. These units provide glare-free driving when switched to high-beam by selectively switching off certain parts of the headlight beam blocking out oncoming traffic.
Vauxhall GT Coupe Concept rumours (updated January 2016)
Vauxhall has hinted at plans to launch an Audi TT-rivalling sports coupe. The new model is expected to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016 with 2017 hinted as possible release date. The brand has also released a cryptic teaser video to build interest.
The concept – called the GT – is rumoured to use the new Vauxhall Astra’s platform and engines, and will both add some desirability to the carmaker’s line-up and demonstrate what future Vauxhalls could look like. Models including a new Insignia and an as yet unnamed large crossover will be influenced by the GT Concept’s styling.
“See Vauxhall through a fresh pair of eyes”
A new teaser video from the company suggests Vauxhall will build a new sports coupe. Featuring Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, the short teaser gives out almost no information apart from a suggestion of what the concept’s wheels might look like.
Vauxhall is trying to gauge interest from media and the public before it decides to put its eggs in that basket. Another more revealing teaser will be released on 21 January and full details will be available around March so watch this space.
Vauxhall GT engines
There aren’t any hard facts yet, but it seems sensible that the new GT will use the Astra’s engines. Entry level versions could use the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol or the brand’s ‘Whisper’ 1.6-litre diesel.
A version with around 300hp from 2.0-litre petrol is completely possible to rival the Audi TTS. If Vauxhall decides to make a fast, front-wheel drive coupe it would need to undercut the TTS and Volkswagen Scirocco R.
The first use of the GT name was back in the 1960s when Opel (Vauxhall in Europe) previewed a sports coupe concept at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show. Such was the response from the media and the public, that the GT Concept went into production two years later with very minimal alterations.
The second use of the GT moniker was in 2006 on a Opel rebadged Saturn Sky – an American sports car also sold in South Korea as a Daewoo. Following GM’s bankruptcy in the late 2000s, this rear-wheel drive oddity was discontinued.
Vauxhall GT price and release date
As mentioned, official info on the new GT Concept will be released just before the official unveiling at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. If given the all-clear, the Vauxhall GT Coupe could be on sale as early as 2017, while a convertible version will follow soon after.
Prices are also yet to be confirmed but, to be competitive, entry-level models should cost around £22,000. In order to be given the green light, Vauxhall needs to see enough demand from the public – just like the original in 1965 – so get sharing if you want one on your driveway!