Geneva Auto Show: Opel Ampera

European automaker Opel, a General Motors company, has unveiled the production version of their electric Ampera at the Geneva Auto Show this year. The vehicle ranges near the high-end category of electric cars, costing around 42,900 euros (roughly $60,000 USD) and coming equipped with a Bose sound system and touch-screen monitors.

First announced at last year’s Geneva Auto Show, Opel has previewed the car before and says the production model clears the goals set during the development phase. The 16 kWh lithium-ion battery allows the car to travel emission-free up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) under perfect conditions. Should the need arise, a gasoline powered engine will take-over, allowing the Ampera to travel up to 300 miles (500 kilometers), although Opel doesn’t expect most European drivers to need the feature for daily use.

image via media.opel.com

The Ampera can be fully-charged in just four hours at 230V by plugging it into a dedicated household outlet, approximately the same amount of time it takes to charge the Chevy Volt. The 111 kilowatt motor comes with 150 horsepower and delivers 370 Newton meters of torque, allowing the car to go from zero to 60 mph in nine seconds. The top speed for the Ampera is approximately 100 mph.

One of the prominent features of the new vehicle is its “Drive Mode” button located in the center of the control panel. Drivers can choose between Normal, Sport, Mountain, or City mode that Opel says optimize the energy efficiency of the car depending on the different road conditions. Interested consumers can sign-up for the automaker’s ePinoneers program to be one of the first to test drive Ampera.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.