Meet the Designers: Opel Monza Concept

Friedhelm Engler, GM Europe’s director of advanced design, and exterior and interior designers Martin Schoufler and Boris Ilse walk us around the show car.

The Opel Monza concept resurrects a nameplate that’s been dormant for the better part of 30 years — 27 if you want to be precise — but it’s an altogether different proposition than its namesake. Part wagon, part coupe and inspired by the lines of a greyhound dog, the Monza concept was one of the highlights of the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.

With smooth, voluptuous surfacing and characteristic Opel design cues evolved from the brand’s ‘sculpted artistry’ design ethos, the car is a rakish yet practical proposition for a large (4690mm long) luxury sedan. Many of the designers we spoke to at the show were taken by its surfacing and proportions as well as its amazingly clean IP, which is punctuated by a full-width LED display.

The low, flowing roofline, which tapers towards the rear before rising slightly as it reaches the hatch, lends the Monza a unique ‘fastback shooting break’-type profile, while the aluminum band across the upper section of the DLO — which intersects into the taillamp — is mirrored by the rising aluminum element coming off the front air vent aft of the front wheel to cradle the body. The combination, accentuated by the tapering rocker panel and pronounced stance of the rear wheel makes for a very dynamic character on the bodyside.

The gullwing doors provide easy ingress to a four passenger cabin that’s shroud in technological advancements. From the aforementioned LED IP, which employs 18 diodes to project onto a curved surface, to the environmentally-friendly layered and veneered wood, the interior is an incubator for a number of forward thinking ideas from GM. The wood, for example, is not only lighter and cheaper to produce but also easily malleable, enabling designer mold it into the beautifully sculpted panels that flow over the IP. But its the contrast of natural and technical materials and colors that really struck a cord with us.

Though it will lose the massive doors (which were very difficult to implement we’re told) should the car ever make it to production, the rest of the typology-blurring concept appears feasible. However unlikely, we hope GM sees fit to bring it to market.

We spoke to Friedhelm Engler, GM Europe’s director of advanced design, assistant chief designer Martin Schoufler, and interior designer Boris Ilse to find out more about the concept car.


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