Another hybrid concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show is GM’s Flextreme
MPV-style car which uses the same electric hybrid drive system first
previewed on the Chevrolet Volt Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in
January. However this time it’s coupled to a 1.3-litre turbo diesel
engine rather than the Volt’s petrol power unit. Using an electric
motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, GM says the Flextreme emits
less than 40g/km CO2 and is capable of a range of up to 55km on
electric power alone.
diesel engine is based on the CDTi found in the Corsa and Astra, and
isn’t connected to the wheels. Instead, the engine charges the
batteries when they are empty and when no plug-in facility is
available, so extending the operating range.
The body is designed with the environment in mind, with lightweight
polycarbon panels, optimal aerodynamics and reduced weight alloy wheels
helping to extend the car’s potential range.
The car has new loading systems including patented Flexload and
Flexdoors. The Flexload luggage compartment allows access through a
pair of butterfly-style rear tailgate doors which swing open upwards
along the car’s central axis, making the tailgate accessible also from
the side of the vehicle. Flexload doors mean that while the front doors
open in a conventional way, the back ones are hinged at the rear, and
there is no central B-Pillar.
At the Frankfurt Show, the Flextreme carries Segway Personal
Transporters which have been modified to mount inside the car’s body,
and can be released from the car’s luggage compartment with a twist of
the handlebars, allowing carbon-free personal transport.