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Geneva LIVE: Opel Ampera brings Voltec to Europe

by Drew Johnson

The production version of Europe's Chevy Volt - the Opel Ampera - finally debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show.

After debuting a thinly disguised concept car more than two years ago, Opel finally took the wraps off of the production version of its plug-in series hybrid four-door.

Late last year, General Motors officially announced pricing for its European-spec Ampera. The Ampera, essentially a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Volt, is now available for order.

Like the Volt, the Ampera is a plug-in series hybrid that can travel about 40 miles on electricity alone, before a 1.4L gasoline generator kicks in to provide additional range. The Ampera will officially make production in 2011, with GM's Vauxhall brand launching a version for the UK in 2012.

"With the Ampera, Opel will be the first European automobile manufacturer to provide customers several hundred kilometers of non-stop electric driving," said Alain Visser, GM Europe Chief Marketing Officer.

The styling of the Ampera closely mirrors its Chevrolet counterpart, but does have some unique design cues of its own -- particularly at the front end. Rear detailing is also exclusive to the Ampera, even though the vehicle's overall shape is driven more by aerodynamics than anything else.

The Ampera also features its own unique wheel design and a stylish badge.

Pricing for the Ampera will start at 42,900 for most of Europe -- including VAT -- with German pricing set to start at 36,050 euros. The Opel Ampera is now available for order.









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