Feb 18, 2016
Rüsselsheim. This dream car impresses with both its exterior and its interior values: The Opel GT Concept shows what a popular sportscar of the future will look like – puristic and breathtaking alike. The coupé will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show (March 3 to 13). Visitors will initially be able to admire its sculptural shape. Then they can imagine taking the well-trained athlete out of the city on to the next alpine pass and enjoying its dynamism in every hairpin. Beyond its stunning exterior, the Opel designers have also created an interior that perfectly blends typical cues from a sports coupé and futuristic solutions for the human/machine interface. Everything in the GT Concept is ready for the pure pleasure of an exciting drive. The two sports seats fit like a tailor-made suit, the steering wheel and the pedals can be adjusted electrically down to the last millimeter, the low beltline of the doors enables a casual arm position, colors and shapes create a perfect spatial feeling and the sky above the panorama roof races by. Human and machine become one.
However, nothing distracts the driver and the front passenger from the essential. The interior is just as puristic as the exterior. The instrument panel of the GT Concept made from brushed aluminum visually enhances the lightweight construction (the overall weight remains below 1,000 kg) and seems to float in front of the occupants. It is, however, a structural member between the slim A-pillars of the windshield – here structure becomes sculpture. Opel’s design philosophy “Sculptural artistry meets German precision” continues throughout the interior. Just like the attention to detail: Round monitors are embedded in the outer aluminum air jets with the polished GT emblem. The monitors capture the vehicle’s environment and replace side door mirrors. The shining red seatbelt retractors are also works of art and follow the design of the red front tires. The steering wheel with its spoke design pays homage to the legendary Opel GT from the 1960s and 1970s.
Elsewhere, buttons cannot be found anywhere. The sportscar is operated purely by voice control and a central touchpad. Experts refer to the control concept of the car as Human Machine Interface (HMI). The Opel concept car comes with a revolutionary HMI. In the GT Concept the adaptive system is waiting to get to know the driver and adapt to his or her needs. The car thus adjusts itself to the driver and not the other way round. This results in a dialogue during which the car answers in a charming voice and can for example chose the right music, route or temperature according to the situation. The Opel HMI is like a friend on the passenger seat – it recognizes whether hip-hop or chill-out is wanted. In order to always spontaneously offer the most appropriate support, the software learns from every command, every touch of the steering wheel and every setting over days, months and years. A similar approach is already known from self-learning adaptive automatic transmissions. They adapt to the style of the respective driver with either sporty or economic gearshifts. The adaptive HMI is a holistic approach and shows that vehicle operation seen in science-fiction movies is slowly becoming reality.
The instruments also reflect the atmosphere in the Opel GT Concept. If the driver has had a stressful day and wants to surf through the menus without saying a word, he just needs to reach for the round touchpad on the center stack, from where he can easily operate all functions. The two classically inspired round instruments are actually projection surfaces that can be backlit in different colors and display a variety of information three-dimensionally – a further development of the system shown in the 2013 Opel Monza Concept. Rpms and speed are always clearly visible on the left whereas the information shown on the right instrument can be configured individually.
If the GT Concept is cruising along on a business trip, while permanently connected to the office or the client, the right instrument facilitates navigation with an intuitive graphic without any numerical values; when under time pressure, it displays consumption. When the mood changes because the end of the working day is nearing and the driver fancies cornering at speed, the accelerator, transmission and engine control are optimized accordingly and the right-hand instrument even displays the g-force values of the longitudinal acceleration.
The car may then even speak out and issue a warning such as: “Be careful. Don’t overlook the motorcycle behind us!” After all, the GT Concept keeps a close eye on the traffic situation - and does not just adapt to the driver’s tastes and moods, but also to the exterior conditions to also enhance safety. Instead of side door mirrors, the GT Concept relies on cameras mounted behind the front wheel arches to show what is happening behind and next to the car. The images are transmitted to round monitors to the left and right of the driver. In addition, the large central screen displays all desired information. The adaptive Opel HMI is more than just a good friend – it is an additional on-board guardian angel.
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