The futuristic styling of the Vauxhall Flextreme introduces a new confidence to electric power. New materials and interior design directions are a real sign of things to come.
The Vauxhall Flextreme is more than a demonstration of our commitment to the latest green technology. It is proof that the future can be stylish as well as practical.
The Flextreme body’s key characteristics highlight the new elements of Vauxhall design language: more sculpted surfacing moulding and clear style elements such as narrow, boomerang-shaped lights and a sloping swage line in the side graphics. The Flextreme has also been designed following the motto of technological efficiency: vehicle weight and aerodynamics are optimised using advanced materials and simulation technology.
The bottom edge of the windshield has been pulled forward, so the hood with its characteristic crease is very short. The integrated power socket in the cowl panel allows the car to be charged at any mains supply.
A look at the front of the car quickly reveals that the front grille and rims are covered by a lightweight transparent trim, which is made from polycarbonate to improve aerodynamics while maintaining visual aesthetics. The same is true for the special light alloy wheels. Like the wheel design, the large boomerang-like curved front light units are visually deceptive.
From the rear the centre-opening, butterfly doors form the most immediate feature. Also the relief of the blade motif is carried around the whole curvature of the back. The unique rear lamp clusters with wing lights are virtually invisible until lit; they also wrap around to give even more sense of symmetry.
Just like all the other windows and a large part of the roof, the windshield is made of especially light polycarbonate. The Flextreme’s panoramic windshield provides a light and spacious interior ambience and stretches over most of the roof, which is reinforced by a spine-like composite structure that extends all the way to the rear floor.
New approaches to space, comfort and light, characterise the interior design of the Vauxhall Flextreme.
Set directly under the windshield, the large panoramic display in the interior is especially eye-catching. The display fields are configurable. They can show a complete all-around view of the car’s surroundings, for example, instead of exterior mirrors the Flextreme has two side cameras, one front-facing and one rear-view camera. A second display on the centre-console features touch-screen operation for air conditioning, ‘infotainment’ and navigation functions as well as the drive selector gate.
A clever storage system at the front and back of the centre tunnel offer flexibility. Front and rear passengers can stow items such as mobile phones, MP3 players, iPods and PDAs in two drawers. The best part: the electrical devices are recharged in the drawers by induction and Bluetooth-capable systems can transmit their data to the onboard infotainment system.
Honeycomb structures, which are characterised by low weight and high rigidity, are used extensively in the Flextreme’s interior. This functional, geometric structure can be found in the instrument panel’s lower portion, cabin floor, cargo floor and above the centre tunnel where the lithium-ion batteries are located.
With the rear-hinged back doors (FlexDoor®) that enable comfortable access to the interior, a large transparent roof and two tailgate doors that open from the side and swing upwards (FlexLoad®), the car embodies Vauxhall’s tradition of flexibility and practical body-concepts with attractive designs.
This also includes the FlexLoad’s additional under-floor luggage compartment, the latest in a series of innovative solutions such as the Zafira’s seating system (Flex7®) and the integrated, rear-carrier system Flex-Fix® found on the Corsa and Antara.
And the big surprise is the integration of two high-tech electric personal transporters (PTs), ingeniously packaged below the cargo floor. They can be used in areas that cars cannot enter, thereby adding an extra mobility option. The electric scooters provide up to 23 miles of clean mobility.
The Vauxhall Flextreme uses the revolutionary E-Flex propulsion system, which is also referred to as Voltec technology.
E-Flex is a new family of electrically driven propulsion systems specifically engineered for future small- and mid-sized vehicles. The ’E’ stands for electric drive; the ‘Flex’ represents the architecture’s adaptability. The system allows the flexible use of electricity from a wide range of sources: the generator can run on power from the grid, from a small, internal-combustion engine consuming unleaded gasoline, diesel or bioethanol (E85 – a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol), or from a fuel cell.
This means that the vehicle’s drive system can be adapted exactly to the needs and infrastructure of specific markets.
In contrast to conventional vehicles and hybrids, the E-Flex system uses an electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery, to propel the Vauxhall Flextreme concept for up to 55 km of electric-drive-only range. In this case, a 1.3 CDTI onboard engine generates additional electricity to top up the battery and extend the vehicle’s driving range. Fully charged, the Flextreme’s 55-km all-electric driving range is enough for most daily commuters in Europe to travel without using any diesel fuel or emitting any CO2.
The Flextreme concept is a good indication of what low-emission mobility could look like in the medium term.