Volt Birth Watch 162: Vauxhall Ampera Driven! Ish.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

AutoExpress never met a car they didn’t like. Or, if they did, they kept that opinion to themselves. In keeping with the advertiser-pleasing house style, the British car mag offers readers a “review” of the Vauxhall/Opel version of the Chevy’s Hail Mary-shaped plug-in electric/gas hybrid. Despite the fact that the car isn’t in production, regardless of the company’s ongoing refusal to let anyone test the car in extended range mode (i.e., when the ICE kicks in), AutoExpress gives the Ampera . . . five stars! Other than than a quick kvetch about the price and an unquestioning reference to the Lutzian crock about “the gas going stale in the tank,” Paul Bailey is a booster. Still, at the end of the proverbial English day, “the project raises more questions than it answers.” Such as: will European governments buy into the Volt-as-savior meme that found such fertile ground in the US? You don’t hear the Germans talking about it . . .

[Thanks to Thor S Johnsen for the link.]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Luke42 Luke42 on Sep 03, 2009

    Mirko Reinhardt, As compared to the car the typical UK family drives (gaged by looking at the parking lots in the Lake District and in Scotland when I was there in 2005), the Prius is slightly bigger and a lot more expensive. If we could get diesel-powered Vauxhall Corsas here, the Prius probably wouldn't be such a hot seller here, either. But since it's just about the only currently-produced car in the US that gets 50-ish MPG with a useful carrying capacity, it's a winner. I spent the whole trip bitching about how American car companies were sending the practical little cars that I like to Europe, and only selling overpowered blingmobiles at home. GM and Ford make money building great small cars -- they've just chosen not to sell them at home. Also, paying ~$8/gal (1£/L) sucked. I'm rooting for the Volt and the Ampera, but the jury's still out until I can drive one at my local Chevy dealer.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Sep 03, 2009

    The cars in "Transformers" look like they came off the showroom floor and the cars heading for the showroom floor look like characters from "Transformers."

  • Charly Charly on Sep 03, 2009

    Sum of Toyota Priuses sold in the Netherlands in August 2009: 1364. Which makes the Prius the top selling car in Holland. It has to do with the taxman and i wouldn't want to claim that the German taxman is playing favorite to the German carmakers but i would be surprised if it wasn't. Ampera will be a German car so i expect a more friendly enviroment for it than the Prius.

  • Davejay Davejay on Sep 03, 2009

    GM would do/would have done well to adopt the Opel's lightning bolt logo in the US for the Volt and any future electric models.