Opel has sealed its commitment to electrifying every model in its range by 2024 with a funky concept car signposting what the company believes its design language will be moving forward. The GT X Experimental is a Level 3 autonomous car with some very cool "visual detox" design touches, including "floating" seats.
The fact that this is a compact SUV is no mistake; Opel believes 40 percent of its market in the early 2020s will be SUVs. The company has also decided to offer a fully electric variant of every model it makes by 2024, so the GT X Experimental is a brand concept showing us what Opel's designers are aspiring towards.
One of the design team's key concepts here is what it calls "visual detox," which is defined as "purity of design by removing all unnecessary design elements." Thus, the overall slick smoothness of the exterior, with tedious details like door handles and side mirrors completely absent, and shutlines kept to a minimum, or hidden away using touches like the yellow stripe that rises over the side windows and conceals the point where the door panels join the roof.
There's very little ugly and mechanical to look at here; even the undertray seems so smooth and clean you could flip the car on its back and eat your dinner off it.
The wheels, on the other hand, are 17-inchers with big, colorful rims and watch strap-thin tires. They're made to look bigger than life with the use of protruding arches, and we're not sure their extreme level of finicky detailing fits with the "removal of all unnecessary design elements" ethos. They do look cool, though.
Opening the car up, the coach-style doors are a nice surprise, offering untrammeled access to an extremely clean interior. Like, almost too clean. There's no mistaking this as anything but an electric; the dash and cabin are so minimal they look like modern interior design.
The seats float above the floor, attached only at hidden points on what you'd hope are some very strong supports. The visually detoxed floor beneath is illuminated by downlighting, which will come in handy when your kids in the back seats visually re-tox the car by dropping apple cores and cheese wrappers all over the floor.
The dash is a single wide screen panel, and there are side panels in the dash with displays for the cameras that replace the mirrors. Even the main rear vision mirror is gone from the front window, leaving a totally clean, panoramic sunroof and nothing but tinted glass to hide behind when the sun's in your eyes.
The battery is a 50-kWh pack featuring inductive charging, meaning you don't need to plug it in, and can just drive it onto a charging pad instead.
As for autonomy, Opel has chosen to make this a Level 3 autonomous concept, meaning it can drive itself in most conditions, but the driver has to keep both eyes on the road and be ready to intervene. This places it as a short- to mid-term concept, hence the lack of rotating seats and social spaces we can expect to see with higher levels of autonomy.
Are these images of a car that has actually been built? That's devilishly difficult to tell from the pictures. If these are real photos, they've been edited so brutally and comprehensively that they look fake. If they're fake, then why would Opel bother with images like the one below, which shows Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller unveiling the thing, and which metadata tells us has been edited and saved in Photoshop more than 20 times? It's all a bit icky.
Then there's the video below, which makes us think they've actually built the thing, and which points the way forward to a highly fashionable future where men wear orange lipstick.
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