He is still lonely circling, thickly masked by gray stickers, hidden from prying eyes and camera lenses behind dense pine forests. in the Opel Test Center Dudenhofen, the new Opel Ampera-e gets its finishing touches. The upcoming star of the Paris Motor Show is no longer a big secret. Many data of the Stromer are already known. From the summer of next year, the five-seater should shake up the ever-growing herd of pure electric cars. With the best range of all electric cars to date, apart from the large Tesla.
Since the huge test site of Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt is just celebrating its 50 anniversary, Opel invited them to the first seat test in the Ampera-e. The five-door is a bit shorter than the well-known Astra and much smaller than the first Opel of this name. The original Ampera, still traveling with a small petrol engine as a range helper, flopped in Germany and still cost 7.700 euros even after a price reduction of 38.300 euros. Too expensive for the electrical pioneers among German car customers.
With the new Ampera with the suffix "e", everything should change. With 4,17 meters, it is 23 centimeters shorter than its predecessor. Since the batteries are hidden flat in the underbody and the wheelbase of 2,60 meters is quite considerable, there is enough space for passengers and luggage. The test sitting in the rear is already surprising. Good knee and headroom, comparable to cars in golf format. Those who are relegated to the middle square should, however, belong to the leaner part of humanity.
Opel only wants the dashboard on the 1. Show October in Paris. In Dudenhofen it was still thickly covered with a black plastic cover. The design should be based on the sister model Chevrolet Bolt, which is already sold in the US. Central speedometer in LCD technology, in the middle a large touchscreen monitor for navigation, audio and various settings. Between the seats of the selector lever for advancing or reversing, which is the size of a computer mouse.
The feeling of space is also beneficial for the front passengers, who are not separated by a thick center console. After all, an electric vehicle can do without a transmission and cardan tunnel. Speaking of space: Although Opel did not allow a look into the trunk, its dimensions are known from the US model: 450 liters are a confident announcement, thanks to the batteries banished in the basement. The slightly raised seating position in the Ampera-e also ensures a good all-round view from the driver's seat.
The technical data are not all known yet, are published by Opel slice by slice. The most important question about the range should be announced a few days before the premiere at the Paris Salon. It will be “groundbreaking,” says Opel. Since the US counterpart starts with 320 kilometers per battery charge, but the Ampera-e is to be adapted to the European hunger for performance, there is secretly talk of 350 kilometers. A value of up to 400 kilometers could also be possible. In any case, the Ampera-e will still be able to continue driving when previous electric models such as the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3 have long been parked at the charging station. And cruising around should also be fun. The electric motor shows off with 150 kW / 204 PS, making a sprint from standstill to 3,2 km / h in just 50 seconds. On the autobahn, the Ampera-e, with a top speed of 150 km / h, is not an ecological obstacle either. The 60 kWh battery should be fit again after just under an hour at the quick charging station.
Since the revolutionary will not be on the market until the middle of next year, the price has not yet been determined, but it will certainly be below the around 36.000 euros that BMW is asking for the i3. (Peter Maahn / SP-X)