Don’t Cry For Me Ampera-tina (2011 Opel Ampera)




Interested in electric cars? We have the low-down on the Chevy Volt-based Opel Ampera. And we’ve got the pictures to prove it. 

The Opel Ampera will employ the same Voltec (nee E-Flex) powertrain as the Volt when it hits the European market in 2011. Hopefully, European customers will be happier than the Ampera. It doesn’t look like the EREV car is too pleased with its trans-Atlantic voyage to the land of leiderhosen, fish and chips, baguettes, and Swiss cheese. Too bad it doesn’t have a choice. Just look at that mascara running down the Ampera’s face, you just wanna give it a box of tissues and tell it that everything will be okay.

In the Ampera’s defense, it is much better looking inside and out than its Volt cousin. The black gloss materials on the centre console look like they’re from Apple circa 2009, rather than Apple circa 2004. Also, the exterior is much less bland than the Volt, even if the Ampera looks like it wants to cut its own wrists. Maybe the Opel just appeals to my inner emo. 

This badge engineering that caused so many of GM’s problems in the first place is hitting the news feeds at the same unfortunate time as a study from Carnegie-Mellon University that the Volt won’t be as cost-effective as a hybrid like a Prius, at least that’s what Bloomberg news is reporting.

Oh, and there will also be a Vauxhall-branded version of the Opel Ampera. And a Holden version of the Volt. Once you start badge engineering, it’s like a drug – it’s just so tough to kick. GM will undoubtedly tell us that the Volt/Ampera is leading a new way forward for the company and that it has learned from its mistakes. Right… How exactly is this different than making FOUR different Lambda platform CUVs?