Opel’s new Monza concept, set for a debut at next month’s 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, looks more like a shooting brake than a traditional coupe. The concept previews the future design direction for General Motors’ struggling European unit and is the first Opel designed from the ground up since German executive Karl-Thomas Neumann took the reins.

The concept’s arrival marks the start of Opel’s DRIVE!2022 strategy, which calls for a return to profitability and the launch of 23 new models and 13 new powertrains over the coming years, and reflected in the design is what Opel considers its fundamental values: German engineering, precision, and striking design.

Though it uses the name of an Opel model from another generation, there are no plans for a production version of the Monza. Instead, expect to see the concept influence the styling of future Opels like the next-generation Astra and Insignia. Opel is also showing a facelifted Insignia range in Frankfurt and from certain angles the Monza looks like a modern interpretation of the stylish Insignia Sports Tourer.

Efficiency and connectivity are hallmarks of the Monza, and will be for the Opel brand going forward. Connectivity is demonstrated by LED projection technology for the Monza’s instrument and infotainment displays, for example. Efficiency, meanwhile, is showcased by the concept’s lightweight design, optimal use of interior space, and advanced powertrain technology.

Opel Monza concept

Opel Monza concept

That powertrain, by the way, is a further development of the Opel Ampera’s (the Chevy Volt’s European cousin) extended-range electric drivetrain. The setup uses a turbocharged 1.0-liter engine as its range extender, fueled by natural gas, and may preview a setup we eventually see in the next-generation Ampera and Volt.

Opel points out that the Monza features a modular design where different powertrains can be added, whether they be gas, diesel, natural gas or electrified. Expect the same to be true for future Opels as well.

Opening up the gullwing-style doors, one is treated with a minimalist yet high-tech cabin with four seats. For the dash, there are no conventional individual, separate monitors that display information; instead, the driver faces a wide, sculpted surface that sweeps from door to door, and is used as a single projection surface. Information and decorative elements are displayed on the surface, which the driver can customize.

A total of 18 LED projectors are used to create the visuals. They reflect all important functions from vehicle and driver information to Internet and communication options as well as decorative elements. Operation is via voice activation or steering wheel controls.

Opel Monza concept

Opel Monza concept

In addition to this, the Monza has the ability to connect with the driver’s friends and families as well as the outside world via smartphones and other communication devices. Drivers can, for example, spontaneously share their planned route online over a tablet or smartphone so that people can catch a ride with them along the way--enabling a new kind of instant car-sharing.

Opel says this kind of connectivity has even more to offer: it gives a preview of the advancements in Car 2 Car communications and autonomous driving technology being worked on at Opel.

“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,” Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement. “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.”

Stay tuned for the Opel Monza concept’s debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 10. And to see what also will be presented at the German show, click here.


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