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New Vauxhall Experimental Concept makes public debut at Munich

The Vauxhall Experimental Concept previews the brand’s new styling, and it could go into production

Vauxhall is set to evolve its latest design language even further and has unveiled its Experimental concept at the 2023 Munich Motor Show to give a preview of how this will look on future models. The new coupé-SUV could even go into production, based on parent firm Stellantis’s STLA Med platform and potentially wearing a Manta badge.

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Vauxhall says that “with an ultra-modern exterior design, the Experimental gives a clear vision of where the brand will be heading in the coming years.” Called ‘Bold and Pure’, this next chapter of the design language features a ‘4D’ representation of the brand’s now-familiar Vizor front end.

An illuminated Griffin logo sits in the centre of the blanked-off grille, which is framed by the firm’s ‘Compass’, marked by four narrow LED light strips. Vauxhall says the extra dimension of the new 4D Vizor is marked by new hidden tech, including lidar and radar sensors, plus a camera system.

The Experimental’s sleek, coupé-like silhouette tapers heavily at the rear to boost aerodynamic efficiency, with further solutions, such as aero flaps, at the front and rear, plus a diffuser in the rear bumper (which can be extended or retracted to suit the driving conditions) to boost range.

There are no wing mirrors, and instead, the car features 180-degree cameras on its blade-like C-pillars. The show car’s Ronal wheels also boast an active aero feature to further improve efficiency. At the rear, the bold surfacing is emphasised by a full-length glass panel, plus another depiction of Vauxhall’s compass lighting signature.

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Vauxhall says that the Experimental’s dimensions put it in the compact family-SUV segment, but that its cabin boasts as much space as a car from the class above, thanks to a “space detox” approach inside.

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The concept has a steer-by-wire system, and the steering wheel retracts when not required. There are lightweight adaptive seats trimmed in “3D mesh-technology fabrics”. Vauxhall says its “Pure Experience” continues the detox theme, with drivers able to personalise the info shown on the slim Tech Bridge – the latest evolution of the brand’s Pure Panel infotainment system.

Instead of screens, the system uses projection technology to display data, with AI and voice control also featuring. This is combined with a floating Pure Pad that can show frequently used controls.

Finally, Electrochromic fabrics inside the cabin are said to be reactive and can provide functional benefits, such as the door panels lighting up to warn a driver when a vehicle enters the car’s blind spot.

While some of this tech might still be a way off production, the Experimental could directly preview a new road-going coupé-SUV, which might even wear the Manta name, as Auto Express previously reported.

“Our new Vauxhall Experimental gives a more extreme interpretation of our Bold and Pure design philosophy. It gives shape to our vision of the future”, said the firm’s vice-president of design, Mark Adams.

“Many of the elements of its design and the mindset behind it will be visible in future production vehicles,” he added, while Vauxhall CEO James Taylor said the Experimental “gives an outlook on upcoming models and technologies, on the future design, even on a new era and the future of the brand”. Don’t expect the concept to morph into a production-ready model until beyond 2025, however.

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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