By on January 27, 2016


Guess what, enthusiasts? The automakers are lying to you. See that red tire? It may as well be a giant red X written across your hopes and dreams of a small, nimble, rear-wheel drive coupe.

The Opel GT Concept is just that — a concept. And it isn’t the first time GM has pulled this trick this year. Actually, if you look back over the past few years of General Motors rear-wheel drive, two-door concepts, only the Camaro and Cadillacs have come to fruition.


First up, the Opel GT, which has a heritage reaching back to 1968. Initially a coupe, the GT then spawned a Roadster model in 2007. In North America, that model was called the Saturn Sky.

Now we have this, the Opel GT Concept, which Opel themselves has said will debut in Geneva before failing to arrive at any dealership in Europe. It’s straight up fantasy.

2016 Buick Avista Concept

Earlier this year, at the North American International Auto Show, Buick tempted us with the Alpha-based Avista concept. It’s also destined to be a flight of fancy concocted by designers that will never see the light of day outside a concours event.


Opel even showed off a new Monza concept in Frankfurt in 2013, in which they said “This is Opel tomorrow.” Tomorrow never came, and the Monza was summarily shipped to a storage facility before product planners completely forgot about its existence.


And remember the mini-Camaro Chevrolet Code 130R concept that didn’t happen?

Since this is just limited to rear-wheel-drive coupes, we can’t mention the Buick Riviera concepts, Chevrolet Tru 140S, and a host of other vehicles that GM has failed to copy on an assembly line.

Automakers, and specifically GM: stop it with the rear-wheel-drive coupe concepts until you’re ready to put your production capacity where your design studio is.

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36 Comments on “Every Rear-wheel-drive Coupe Concept from GM is Vaporware...”

  • avatar

    Hey in the early 00s they made the Opel GT, which was RWD and actually looked like the concept!

    • 0 avatar

      Also not a coupe.

      • 0 avatar

        Lol, ohhh fair point. Silly pop-off panels.

        There was that limited run of the Pontiac GXP GT thing that was coupe.

        • 0 avatar

          I sat in one a couple of years ago, though it wasn’t a GXP. Its proportions are all sorts of wrong in person.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, pretty short and chunky, like a smashed shoe. The convertible one only worked for me in Saturn guise, really.

            Even then, it was funny once to see a guy lose all his cool points pulling up in one as he fussed with putting up the flimsy manual top.

        • 0 avatar

          Didnt tbe Solstice have its routes in that Opels platform?

          I head from an owner ti never open the hood and both front doors, or something to that effect. I cant recall if they had a Soltice or a Saturn Sky.

          • 0 avatar

            The mid to late 2000’s Opel GT and the Saturn Sky were the exact same car, sans badges and minor backup light tweaks. They were both Kappa based cars. The Solstice was also a Kappa based car that was exactly the same, sans sheetmetal and interior bits.

            And yes, if you had either of your doors open to full wide and closed your hood, you risked nicking the doors. And you also couldnt put a jack under certain parts of the car without breaking the fiberglass front fender panels. All this and more made me sell my Sky. It was RIGHT in so many ways, but once you lived with it for a while you saw how rushed, or just plain not thought out it was from a daily use perspective. It still torments me how much I loved that car, and hated it at the same time. Saturn doors shuttering forever was the final straw for me (and the fact my extended warranty was about to run out).

  • avatar

    Why can’t we have colored production tires? They’d sell. And we all know exactly who’d buy them. I’m sure there’s an engineer round here who can explain this vis-a-vis vulcanization/etc.

    -Raptor-type customers, to match their sports team colors or Harley Davidson
    -STI enthusiasts, to match their baseball hats
    -Credit challenged, to match their favorite landau or strain of weed

  • avatar

    How can not pandering to enthusiasts be a mistake?

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    I am in love with Buick Avista and if I were running Buick…
    I would never build it because there is really no business case for it and I would be more interested in making profit for my shareholders than delving into fantasies.
    Now, a four door coupe based on CT6 platform with similar design language as Avista (whatever the heck design language means) sitting above La Crosse for 45-55K would be right on the money and build the Buick brand without being an absolute sales disaster.

    • 0 avatar

      “Now, a four door coupe based on CT6 platform”

      I must protest, no more of this half and half s***. Either it has four doors and it can comfortably carry human adults, or it carries two and looks like it lives in a wind tunnel.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m still bitter about the stillborn Nissan IDx.

  • avatar

    I must take issue with your conclusion, platforms cost money and spreading their use lowers unit costs. There is a good business model for these idea cars, just not with Government Motors. Of course, Ford could also do much more with the new Mustang base, as it now has the potential to handle world class. A hot Lincoln would be fun, maybe a new Thunderbird.

    • 0 avatar

      “… platforms cost money and spreading their use lowers unit costs.”

      But concept cars COST money, they don’t make money.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah they cost money, but what does it cost per article for an automaker to generate press and favorables in general? How many articles are generated per dollar spent on the concepts? I don’t know those numbers but I bet there’s food for thought there. Even this article criticizing the concepts is sending all the readers off to Google the vehicles and be re-exposed to their glory.

        I can see how they annoy the hell out of journalists though.

        • 0 avatar

          I believe the press is initially really positive, resonating in the press and focus groups etc. However in the real ongoing world it is extremely negative and results in less sales when they don’t ‘perform’, as is GM’s DNA when it comes to concepts in general.
          For example, if they ‘got real’ and committed to bring to market, I would probably wait with my Verano Turbo. But now, after the initial WOW, I will be leaving the brand as in real life they aren’t competing when it comes to cars.

          • 0 avatar

            Maybe you have a point there. This isn’t true of all concepts however, specifically I think gm is getting a bum rap here. They didn’t make the mini Camaro (out was an unloved trial balloon), we don’t know yet what will happen with the buick. All the rest are opels and what happens in Europe is not really relevant because they may well have a different media environment.

            What Nissan did with their idx/510 concept does illustrated your point perfectly however. That was a much loved trial balloon that Nissan execs immediately retreated from with talk of fwd and cvt transmissions. They never had the will in the first place. I look at that and think there are a few good people left there, but clearly, they have no influence, certainly not in drivetrain or accounting. It makes me respect Nissan less.

  • avatar

    Im glad these are just concepts, as is they’re generic to me, and if RWD buffs want a GM theres already a few models for sale (including the SS for you v8 sedan lovers).

  • avatar

    No big loss as GM would just release said RWD cars with one missing piece that would make the car perfect, then in the final years of production they would fix it before killing it off. .

    GTO finally getting 6.0L in final years of production
    Solstice finally coming out as a coupe only to be killed off
    Cobalt SS getting turbocharged engine in final two years of production
    96 Impala SS getting console shifter and idiotic “black panel” on rear window fixed in final year of production
    88 Fiero getting suspension and engines upgrades in final year of production
    Chevrolet Colorado getting V8 engines in final years of production

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve been waiting all day for you all to post about this thing just to say:
    That Opal STILL had better sight lines than the Camaro if the sides were opaque instead of transparent.

    You many go about your day now.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I was always a fan of the Kappa based concept Chevrolet Nomad. It would have been a great sport wagon in its own niche but was probably canceled because of the experience with the oddball SSR sport truck.

  • avatar

    “It may as well be a giant red X written across your hopes and dreams of a small, nimble, rear-wheel drive coupe.”

    Well, from GM.

    Buy a Miata.

    Or buy a C-Class is the Miata is “too small” or something.

    But I don’t care – I don’t dream of this mythical coupe.

  • avatar

    They already have the Corvette and Camaro and CTS. Why do they need more rwd coupes? They’re not BMW. To be fair, BMW isnt BMW any more either.

  • avatar

    I know it wasn’t a coupe, but I wish something would have come from the 2002 Chevy Malibu concept.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    It’s pretty straightforward, showcars are to car companies as articles like this are to journalism. Clickbait. You journalists could kill them stone dead in a year by ignoring them. You won’t of course.

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