Vauxhall's push upmarket shows no signs of letting up with this Vauxhall Monza Concept - a BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 rival - which will debut at the Frankfurt motor show 2013 in September.
It has been 16 years since the death of Vauxhall’s last big coupe, the Calibra, yet this concept will wear a name more usually associated with the company’s sister brand Opel – Monza.
The concept is a result of a $4billion warchest given to GM Europe by its American parent company for future development, and is said to preview not only the look of future models, but also their technology.
Although Vauxhall says the Monza is purely a showcase, sources from within GM Europe suggest there is a desire to build a new GT model, especially given the success of cars such as the Audi A5 around the world. And key to the viability of such a car is the Buick brand in the Chinese market.
Although initial reports from Germany suggested that the concept would be rear-wheel drive like the original Monza, our sources claim that the front-wheel-drive Cascada platform will be used, especially as the concept is said to be similar in size to Vauxhall’s new drop-top.
Under the skin will be an eco-friendly powertrain promoting Vauxhall’s recently announced new range of engines. So expect a low-capacity, high-powered petrol engine with electrical assistance, too.
The Monza also promotes lightweight materials, while the interior will also boost Vauxhall’s hi-tech credentials, moving the game on from the likes of Apple’s Siri Eyes Free.
The new tech will be looking towards 2020, with a novel way of displaying dash information and using in-car connectivity to promote individual mobility. Our sources told us that Vauxhall is thinking about how the next generation of drivers will want to interact with cars, learning from car club usage.
According to new Vauxhall/Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, the Monza’s interior design and trail-blazing tech will change the driving experience.“This car is a study that will have a long-term impact on the next generation of Vauxhall and Opel models,” said Neumann.
The Monza also features an evolution of Vauxhall’s design theme with a low stance, strong creases on the bonnet and slim headlights, with big air intakes underneath. A gaping grille features a large Vauxhall badge on a chrome bar with upturned winglets at either edge.
The Monza is only a concept, but the building blocks are in place to put the car into production speedily should the reaction be good at the Frankfurt show. So a production version could, in theory, be on sale in 2015.
Among all its global brands, who’d have thought it would be Buick that has a major influence on GM’s product plans?
According to Vauxhall insiders, models that can wear the Buick badge have a big advantage – and that could apply to the Monza coupe. It’s easy to see why. Buick is one of the three biggest brands in China, and judging from the reaction to the Buick Riviera coupe concept at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, a Buick Monza could go down well.