The Vauxhall vanguard for Frankfurt

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 2:32 PM

Vauxhall Astra GTC

The Astra GTC will be part of Vauxhall's wide range of show cars at Frankfurt, including an "experimental vehicle"

Vauxhall will be having quite the busy time at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show with the world debut of the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer, an experimental vehicle, the production version of the Ampera for the European market and the first look at seven new ecoFLEX models.

September 13 will see the official unveiling of the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer, although most of us know what they look like already. The Astra GTC will be on sale later this year and the Zafira Tourer hits the UK market in early 2012.

What Vauxhall is getting truly excited about is the debut of an experimental car. Vauxhall is being a little cryptic as to what this car is all about, saying it will “explore a new interpretation of driving fun” and that we can expected to be wowed with the level of innovation.

Like every automaker worth their grease and oil change, Vauxhall will be showing off a plug-in hybrid, in this case the European production version of the Ampera. It will have an electric range of between 25-50 miles of zero emissions motoring, suitable for most commutes, as well as being equipped with a range extender to allow it to travel for more than 300 miles without a recharge or needing fuel.

The Ampera is being touted as the first European production vehicle suitable for everyday use, although Nissan may claim their Sunderland-produced LEAF holds that title.

In any case, it will be good to see another environmentally friendly car on the roads and in keeping with the green theme, a load of new ecoFLEX cars - seven of them, to be precise - will also be on show in Frankfurt. The seven cars will be rolled out amongst four ranges and emissions are low on them all. They will be: the Agila 1.0-litre petrol (109g/km), Meriva 1.3-litre CDTi (109g/km), Astra 1.7-litre CDTi (99g/km), Insignia 1.4-litre turbo petrol (134g/km), Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi (115g/km) and an ecoFLEX version of the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer.

We’ll report from the show on Vauxhall’s rather crowded stand and in particular, we will reveal the mystery behind the experimental car.

Vauxhall claim their Ampera is most practical European eco-focused car. But the Nissan LEAF may have something to say about that. If indeed it could talk

The new Zafira Tourer will also be on show at Frankfurt and promises one seriously funky interior

By Georgia Lewis

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