The revolutionary Opel Ampera today celebrated its world premiere at the 79th Geneva Motor Show. General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, unveiled the extended-range electric vehicle and announced plans to put the car into production in late 2011.

The Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Opel's sister-brand, Vauxhall.

"The Opel Ampera further demonstrates GM's leadership in the electrification of the automobile," said Carl-Peter Forster. "Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges."

The five-door, four-seat Ampera is influenced by Opel's award-winning design language of sculptural artistry meets German precision, incorporating several styling cues from the innovative Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars

"There could not be a more fitting way to celebrate Opel's 110 years of innovation in the car industry than by revealing the Ampera," said Alain Visser, GME Vice President Opel.

The Ampera's wheels are turned electrically at all times and speeds. For journeys up to 60 km (MVEG), it runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery's energy is depleted, electricity from an engine-generator extends the Ampera's range to more than 500 km.

The Ampera can be plugged into any household 230v outlet for charging. GM Europe is analyzing the requirements of a recharging infrastructure for plug-in electric cars with energy companies, including Iberdrola of Spain.

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Opel Ampera: Specifications

General

Vehicle type: 5-door, front-wheel-drive hatchback
Category: Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)
Chassis: independent McPherson struts front, compound crank twist axle rear, four-wheel disc brakes, full regenerative brakes to maximize energy capture, electric power-assist steering
Seating capacity: four

Performance

Top speed (km/h): 161
EV range (km): 60 (MVEG cycle)
Total range (km) > 500

Dimensions

Wheelbase (mm): 2685
Length (mm): 4404
Width (mm): 1798
Height (mm): 1430
Cargo volume (L): 301

Battery system

Type: lithium-ion
Energy (kWh) 16

Electric drive unit

Power (kW / hp): 111 / 150
Torque (Nm): 370

Exterior

Tire and wheel size: specially developed low rolling-resistance tires on 17-inch forged aluminum wheels