The Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E is a four seat, five-door extended-range electric coupé concept based on the forthcoming Ampera, and is capable of 125mph, 175mpg, and CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.
The concept is designed to show that the extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) system can be applied to vehicles across all market segments.
The Flextreme GT/E achieves a projected drag co-efficient of just 0.22, allowing it to reach an estimated top speed of 125mph-plus, while conserving energy and extending the driving range.
The concept has the E-REV drive system, already developed for the Vauxhall Ampera. Despite its greater size and a maximum speed of more than 125mph, the Flextreme GT/E is estimated to offer performance similar to that of the Ampera: a battery-powered driving range of up to 40 miles – with zero CO2 tailpipe emissions – and a total range of over 300 miles. Average fuel consumption is estimated at 175mpg, with CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.
Unlike a hybrid vehicle, the wheels of the Flextreme GT/E are powered at all times by electricity. For typical journeys up to 40 miles, energy is supplied by a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor and rear seat.
However, unlike a battery-only electric vehicle, the Flextreme GT/E eliminates any possibility of range anxiety through fear of being stranded without power. The small petrol engine/generator is seamlessly engaged to provide electricity whenever the battery’s supply becomes depleted. In this mode, the driving range is extended to more than 300 miles, until the plug-in battery pack can be recharged or the car is refuelled.
The motor in the electric drive unit delivers 370Nm of instant torque, promising good performance and projected zero to 62mph acceleration in less than nine seconds.
The design of the car aims to manage airflow and save weight. The small frontal area, low roof height and a flat, enclosed underbody all enable the car to cut through the air with a minimum of disturbance.
The 21-inch alloy wheels are relatively narrow, to reduce wind resistance, and are fitted with 195/45, low rolling resistance tyres. Clear, flush-mounted trim inserts also minimise air turbulence.
The small front intake improves airflow around the nose of the car and the underbody sweeps up at the rear to further reduce drag.
At speeds above 30mph, a vertical panel extends along the body from the air extraction slot behind each rear wheel-arch. These 350 mm-long side spoilers guide high-speed airflow around the rear corners of the car, further reducing the amount of turbulence.
The body has lightweight, carbon composite outer panels, polycarbonate window glazing and aluminum alloy structural components. Compared with conventional materials, these offer a 40 per cent weight saving which further contributes to reduced energy consumption and an increased driving range.
The Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Keywords: Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E extended-range electric coupé concept, E-REV, Vauxhall Ampera, 2010 Geneva Motor Show.