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First pre-production Vauxhall Ampera

The first pre-production Vauxhall Ampera has rolled off the line at GM’s Pre-Production Operations’ assembly line in America.

More validation Amperas will be built in coming months, and will be used by engineers in Europe and the United States for testing the production-intent design. The focus will be on developing the final vehicle software and controls, fine tuning the vehicles’ driving characteristics, and performing safety and structural integrity testing.

“We’re right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year,” said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Ampera. “There’s still work to be done, but being able to drive an Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe.”

The Ampera extended-range electric vehicle delivers up to 40 miles of pure electric driving before a petrol engine-generator kicks in to sustain the battery charge and seamlessly extends the range to more than 300 miles. The battery can be charged by plugging the vehicle’s on-board charge system into a standard household outlet. It’s scheduled to be in UK showrooms by early 2012.

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