Opel Monza Concept

The name ‘Monza’ brings to mind a racing circuit in Italy but it was also a name used for a large sporty model introduced by Opel in 1977. It was a large coupe with a 6-cylinder engine produced until 1986 and remains an iconic car of that era.

At the Frankfurt Motorshow 36 years after the launch of that Monza, a new Monza will be unveiled and while it is not yet said to be a model for production, it is presented as ‘the Opel Car of Tomorrow’.

The original Monza coupe produced between 1977 and 1986

“The Monza Concept, on one hand, embodies everything that already characterizes Opel – German precision combined with innovative technologies wrapped in captivating design. In addition, it addresses the themes that will be the development-focus of the next generation of Opel cars: maximum connectivity and optimum efficiency,” said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

The connectivity he mentioned is demonstrated by a trailblazing LED projection technology for instrument and infotainment displays. Efficiency comes in many ways, with lightweight design, optimal use of interior space, and advanced powertrain technology.

The Monza Concept is based on increasing electrification of the automobile in everyday driving, from range-extender to fuel cell. And as far as styling is concerned, we are expressing pure efficiency in a new, lean and athletic interpretation of our typical sculptural shapes.

The design of the Monza Concept incorporates the company’s DNA, the bonnet having a distinctive centre fold that continues the tradition of the Monza front with the typical Opel crease. The large boomerang-shaped air intakes in front of the wheel arches complement the elegant chrome bar that proudly holds the brand logo.

With the Monza Concept, the designers also introduce a new interpretation of the sculptural design that first went into production with the Insignia. Selected distinctive lines, high-precision design and perfect sweeping contours remain the core of the evolving design philosophy called “Sculptural artistry meets German precision.”

“This is the next bold step along our journey into the future but, at the same time, we show that we have established a consistent design in which people can build trust,” said Mark Adams, Head of Opel Design.

The sculptural surfaces of the 4.69 metre-long, 4-seater are modeled after ocean waves lapping on the shore. These flowing surfaces give a look of lightness, dramatically underlined by the side-sills that taper off in front of the rear wheel arches. This unique styling element is inspired by the lean physique and slim waist of a greyhound dog, running as if on tip-toes with powerful elegance.

The design of the body sides enables easy entry and egress for front and rear-seat passengers, while underscoring the prominent, sporty rear wheel arches, which share the same width as the front.

The Monza Concept’s roof line is particularly sophisticated – at first, it runs in a semi-circular form like a classic coupe’s but then, just before reaching the tailgate, it sweeps slightly upwards. In spite of its sporty look and flat silhouette with a height of just 1.31 metres, there is neither loss of space in the luggage compartment (500 litres in volume) nor constrained headroom for the passengers.

Efficiency and connectivity are the main focus of development in focus for next generation of Opel models. The Monza Concept offers a preview of these developments with a completely new and unique world of instruments and infotainment. Incidentally, the original Monza was also way ahead of its time 35 years ago with a digital display in the cockpit. 

The state-of-the-art LED projection technology uses no less than 18 LED projectors to create a continuous, adaptable multi-functional display. On the single projection surface, information and decorative elements can be customized according to the driver’s needs, taste or mood.

The trendsetting sensor and connectivity technology in the Monza Concept also gives a preview of the advancements in “Car-to-Car” and “Car-to-X” systems – prerequisites for future autonomous driving and areas in which the research department at Opel is already intensively working. By comprehensively connecting road users, intercommunication can be enhanced, as can safety, because dangerous traffic situations are registered earlier and more accurately than before.

The Monza Concept has a modular design to allow highest-possible flexibility when selecting a propulsion system. A variety of sustainable powertrains based on increasing electrification of the automobile are conceivable. For the model displayed at the Frankfurt motorshow, the engineers have proposed an electric drive with a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) range extender. The new-generation 3-cylinder 1.0 SIDI turbo takes over the task as range extender. But it does so with natural gas instead of petrol, further improving the car’s CO2 footprint.

“We have a clear vision of how Opel cars will be in the future, and we have a clear strategy of how we will achieve this goal. The Monza Concept gives this strategy an unmistakable identity,” said Dr. Neumann. “It embodies what our customers can expect from us within the next years; not only in terms of design, but also in terms of efficiency and connectivity between drivers and the internet community. So it already anticipates future everyday automotive life, and serves as an important source of inspiration on the road to that destination – and not just for Opel.”

[Chips Yap]