Behold the Experimental Concept, the blueprint for Vauxhalls of the future | Top Gear
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Behold the Experimental Concept, the blueprint for Vauxhalls of the future

And now we can’t wait to drive a Corsa straight out of the Tron universe

Published: 08 Aug 2023
 

We already know the future of Vauxhall is electric - it wants to be EV-only in five years’ time - and with the arrival of the Experimental Concept we now know roughly what its cars will look like too.

Well, sorta. Set to be revealed next month at the Munich motor show, the Experimental Concept is basically a no-punches-pulled poster child of what Vauxhall would do if it didn’t have to worry about realities like production and being remotely affordable.

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Thus future Vauxhalls will get the same mix of aero-efficient design and focus on interior space, but probably with less panache than displayed here.

Everything is tied together with the ‘Vizor’ design at the front, seen now on the Mokka, Astra and Grandland, plus the forthcoming Corsa facelift and Manta. Except here it becomes home to the lidar, radar and camera systems Vauxhall anticipates using in the latter part of the decade.

There’s no shiny chrome on show: instead the Experimental Concept uses illumination strips to show off its sharp lines, including that centre bonnet crease that features on every new Vauxhall these days.

Aero flaps at the front and rear, plus a retractable diffuser and active Ronal wheels help push the drag coefficient right down, aided by the use of 180-degree cameras over conventional wing mirrors.

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Inside the steering wheel folds away when it isn’t needed, with its steer-by-wire system reducing weight. Info is displayed using augmented projection tech controlled by voice control supported by - brace yourself for a buzzword - AI. Because apparently everything must be AI, now.

Perhaps the most interesting element of the interior is the use of electrochromic fabrics: these help create a soothing environment inside, but can also work with the blind spot monitoring to warn drivers when danger is near. Handy.

Oh, and the final Vauxhall tenet is comfort: the seats are lightweight and adaptive, apparently, and the 3D-mesh fabric finish means they’re supportive without being bulky.

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“Our new Vauxhall Experimental gives a more extreme interpretation of our Bold and Pure design philosophy,” says design boss Mark Adams. “It gives shape to our vision of the future.

“Many of the elements of its design and the mindset behind it will be visible in future production vehicles. The exterior design delivers an optimised aerodynamic performance in combination with a stunning silhouette while the interior offers an immersive and emotional user experience.”

We’ve no performance details to go on right now, but Vauxhall says the Experimental Concept is based on a Stellantis platform and that AWD is provided. Bring on the future…

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