2017 Opel Ampera-e

The electric vehicle market segment is getting hotter by the
day with each automaker trying to outshine the others by
offering affordable models with long ranges. Recently at the
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas Nevada last
month, General Motors unveiled the 2017
Chevrolet Bolt, their new PHEV for the American market.

In Europe GM will rebrand the car and sell it as the 2017 Opel
Ampera-e. The Opel Ampera-e will be identical to the Chevrolet
Bolt except for some minor visual differences. The
automaker hopes the new PHEV will succeed where the first-gen
Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid which was identical to the Chevrolet
Volt plug-in hybrid failed.  Opel Ampera only sold 9,629
units in Europe compared to 51,662 units Chevrolet sold in the
US in 2013.

The automaker goes on to argue that the Ampera-e is part of
their ongoing offensive which will see them unveil 29 new
vehicles by 2020.

2017 Opel Ampera-e Exterior

A quick look at the Ampera-e shows it is a replica of the
Chevrolet
Bolt.  The only differences between the two is the
Ampera-e’s redesigned front bumper, its new grille which
features two thin chrome strips and Opel emblems on the front
and rear fascias.

Everything else looks like the Chevrolet Bolt including the
roof which appears as if it is floating, a huge front-quarter
window and the BMW-inspired pinch of sheetmetal which goes
through the door handles all the way to the taillights.

Opel-ampera-e-NCI-2

2017 Opel Ampera-e Interior

Compared to the Ampera, the Ampera-e cabin is more stylish and
features upgraded technologies. The cabin is also almost
identical to that of the Chevrolet Bolt. The vehicle will
accommodate five passengers and still leave a cargo space
comparable to cars in the compact segment.  This is
courtesy to its battery which is mounted under the floor.

It also features a 10.2-inch MyLink color touch-screen with
Smartphone integration and OnStar service assistant. The
vehicle also features a wide-angle rear-facing camera and a
Surround Vision system similar to one’s used in large SUVs. The
system uses different cameras to provide a bird’s eye view of
the car.

The vehicle also features a navigation system that can also
show nearby charging stations and route directions to help
maximize its range.

Drive-train and performance

Though many people consider the Opel Ampera a commercial flop,
GM insists that the original Ampera has provided them with
immense electrification expertise which serves as the benchmark
for upcoming electric models including the Ampera-e.

Unlike the Opel Ampera which was powered with a PHEV
power-train, the new Ampera-e features an all-electric
drive-train. The model features the same setup as the Chevrolet
Bolt. The electric motor produces 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of
torque. The motor is backed by a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery
pack which is mounted underneath its floor to maximize cabin
space.

The automaker remained mum about its range but we expect a 200
miles range on a full charge just like the Chevrolet. The
Ampera-e will run from 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds and will
have a top speed of 91 mph.

The batteries will take 9 hours to recharge using a 240-volt
outlet while an optional DC fast charger will recharge the
battery to 80% in less than a hour.

Opel-ampera-e-NCI-1

Price and release date

GM has not announced an official price but we believe the model
will have an identical price as the Chevy Bolt which has a
starting price of $ 37,500 or €33,275 equivalent in Europe.
Government rebates will cut down that price further making it a
very affordable PHEV.

Competition

When it comes out, the 2017 Opel Ampera-e will rival the likes
of BMW
i3, Audi A3 e-tron, Ford Focus
Electric, Nissan
Leaf,
Kia Soul EV,
Volkswagen e-Golf and Tesla
Model 3.