More and more automakers are gearing up to showcase green automotive technology for the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Among the latest is Opel, showcasing the Monza Concept, which is based upon range-extending technology similar to the found in the Chevy Volt.
Opel said of the drivetrain for the Monza Concept that “a variety of sustainable powertrains based on increasing electrification of the automobile are conceivable.” Of what will be seen on the floor of the Frankfurt event,
engineers conceived an electric drive with a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) range extender – a further development of the Ampera’s pioneering technology. The new-generation three-cylinder 1.0 SIDI turbo – which also makes its premiere at the IAA – takes over the task as range extender. But it does so with natural gas instead of gasoline, further improving the car’s CO2 footprint.
There’s no specific information available as of yet on total range, range in electric mode only, etc. Like any good design study though it comes with plenty of technology bells and whistles, including in this case use of LED projection technology which creates for drivers a single projected surface which stretches along the entire dashboard. A total of 18 LED projectors create a continuous, adaptable multi-functional display which provides information on “all important functions from precise vehicle and driver information to internet and communication options as well as decorative elements.”
Also built into this car is are ideals centered around social interaction. In one example, passengers can log-in to the car’s infotainment system with their own communication device and exchange information, music and images, chat and make appointments, etc. Drivers as well can “spontaneously share their planned route online over a tablet or smartphone so that people can catch a ride with them along the way – enabling a new kind of instant car-sharing.”
For those wondering about the name, it has indeed been used before. It was introduced back in 1977 as a large coupe, and was in production until 1986. There’s no word on if the 21st century version will ever actually become a production model.