Opel Considering Bringing Back “Baby Corvette” GT
The Opel GT Sticks Out as One of our Favorite Imports of the ’60s. And, With Some Luck, It Could Be Coming Back
When the original Opel GT launched in the 1960s, its purpose wasn’t really known. GM didn’t have a clue how to properly market the car, and stuck it with the Buick-branded dealers. Buick buyers didn’t want Opels, and Opel buyers didn’t want Buicks.
The GT, possibly Opel’s best known car, and certainly their most attractive, was never a success here in the U.S. It was deemed too small and too slow to be a proper sporting car, even though it had the sharp beauty of a mini-Corvette mixed with Toyota’s lovely 2000GT, and perhaps a bit of its contemporary, Ferrari’s Dino 206. Regardless of this anachronistic GM marketing disaster, the Opel GT sticks out as one of our favorite imports of the decade. And, with some luck, it could be coming back.
Earlier this year, at the Geneva Auto Show, Opel showed this GT Concept as an homage to their original sports car. The public reception was overwhelmingly positive. So Opel is reportedly working on a way to usher a new-age GT into production.
It is obvious that the new car should be a front-engine, rear-driven, small sports car, with a small, efficient drivetrain. But such a thing does not currently exist in GM’s repertoire. Vauxhall-Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann told Autocar that in order to make the business case for this car, they’ll likely need to partner with another company for a small, rear-drive platform. That apparently rules out any parts-bin engineering from GM’s Alpha platform.
It has been insinuated by DigitalTrends that the new GT would be built on a platform co-developed between Opel and SAIC, GM’s Chinese partner. SAIC also owns the MG brand, so it is possible that Opel could talk them into splitting costs to build a new, small MG sports car, further increasing the nostalgia-factor.
Neumann states that Opel must make a decision by 2018. If they decide to move forward, they could have a car on showroom floors by the end of this decade. It’s an exciting prospect, but still nothing more than a concept. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that GM will move forward with the so-called Baby Corvette.
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Via [DigitalTrends, Autocar.co.uk]
Photos [Opel, DigitalTrends]