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Opel Antara GTC: Global DNA

Antara GTC concept car announced next Opel Frontera crossover.

15th September 2005.

If you once regretted the rugged ride of the body-on-frame, Isuzu-based Opel Frontera SUV, take note of the Opel Antara GTC concept car now (shown at the 61st Frankfurt motor show, 15-25 September): it has quite a lot of the next generation Frontera.

Unlike the previous generation, the new Frontera will be derived from GM's unibody Theta platform, hence the Antara GTC abbreviation for Gran Turismo... Crossover, you said it.

The Theta platform is already known for its flexible adaptation to various sizes in the Saturn Vue (since 2002), Chevrolet Equinox (since last year), the Pontiac Torrent (from MY 2006), the 2006 Grand Vitara (in shorter size for both the 3- and 5-door versions, with other mechanical differences) and in the next generation Suzuki XL7 (next year) and even at Cadillac (under the SRX).

A crossover SUV with Coupe elements.

Even more, Automotive News ( quoted GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz (12/9/2005) saying that "the Antara Concept will be identical to the future Saturn Vue", which should be built in the USA in a "few years" time.

Full circle then, Vue to Vue, but in between, the next Frontera will be built... in Korea, at GM Daewoo, for a launch around the end of next year (GM owns, amongst its international brands, Opel, GM Daewoo, and 20 percent of Suzuki).

In the mean time, what is Opel's Antara GTC concept car telling about the coming Frontera (by end of next year)?

First, with its length (4530 mm), width (1970 mm) and height (1640 mm), the Antara GTC concept car is much closer to the new Grand Vitara length (4470 mm for the 5-door version) than it is to the Equinox, Torrent (4795 mm) or even the current Vue (4605 mm).

Ventilation louvers in aluminium frames.

Of course, a concept car does not have to reflect the real product attributes, especially in width and height terms. Just look at the Antara very generous wheel arches width, quite typical of many concept crossovers.

Powertrain - Powered by a 156 kW/212 hp twin-turbo version of the 1.9 CDTI ECOTEC common-rail diesel engine, the four-wheel-drive Antara GTC concept gets a peak torque of 400 Nm from just 1400 rpm, and achieves, in combination with the six-speed automatic transmission... and according to computer simulations for the moment, a top speed of over 210 km/h, with acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around 8 seconds.

The transversally installed four-cylinder engine features two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and a variable turbo blade geometry. The fuel supply to the cylinders is controlled by a common-rail system with a pressure of up to 1600 bar.

The heart of the twin-turbo technology of the concept diesel engine are the two exhaust-driven turbochargers which, unlike “biturbo” systems, operate in series rather than in parallel: A smaller, highly responsive turbocharger for the low engine speed range, a larger turbocharger designed for high output to take over as the revs build up.

Leather and tech-materials (carbon fiber,  stainless steel and aluminium. Instruments are backlit in turquoise, in aluminium housings.

This twin-turbo system can achieve a high specific power output, without disadvantages in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Like all Opel's 1.9 CDTI production cars, the Antara GTC concept is equipped with the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system (DPF).

Suspension -  The unitary construction of the Antara GTC is sporty oriented, with McPherson struts on the front axle, the added handling precision of the  rack-and-pinion power steering, and a four-link axle at the rear.

Design - Next, Antara is expressing Opel's current and future design tendances, with striking LED headlamps and  tail lights stretching into the fenders, in a 3-door, four-seater formula, with frameless windows, all accentuating the coupé-like silhouette.

With the V-shaped radiator grill, the wide wheel arches over the 20-inch wheels of polished aluminium, the Antara pushes a step further Opel's efforts to refresh its image, blending this time coupé design patterns with a powerful SUV look.

The basic off-road vehicle characteristics are clear: short overhangs for large angles of approach and departure, stable flanks, powerful side shoulders and wheel cutouts, and steeply inclined windows.

On the other hand, coupé typical features can be seen in the two doors, the tailgate, the closed side window design without a B-pillar, the sloping roof towards the back, with a rising sideline.

The ventilation louvers on the side of the fenders are fitted into fine aluminium frames, as are their counterparts on the side of the engine hood and the exhaust openings behind the doors. ...more on page 2 >>>

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