Mike Stevens | Jan 28, 2009

Opel has released the first teaser image of its Extended Range Electric Vehicle, the Ampera, due to debut at the Geneva Motor show in March. Because General Motors can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to re-badging cars across the different GM brands, the Ampera utilizes the basics of the Chevrolet Volt with which it shares its ‘Voltec’ drivetrain.

Like the Volt the Ampera will be capable of traveling up to 60 kilometres on electricity stored in its lithium-ion battery pack. For any further travel, the car will then use a small petrol engine to provide charge for the batteries. When parked the battery pack can be recharged using a standard power point, making it possible to avoid using the petrol engine entirely.

From the preview image, the Ampera appears to share more than just its motive system with the Volt. Although the front styling is unique to the Ampera, the rest of the car looks strikingly-similar to its North American counterpart. The more aggressive front end of the Ampera however draws on Opel's ‘blade’ styling and manages to appear less conservative than the rather conventional looking Volt.

With Holden tipped to get a version of the new GM plug-in hybrid some time around 2011, the question now arises, Volt or Ampera? There is no doubt the technology is impressive, but which would you rather see parked in your driveway?

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