GM pulls plug on RHD Vauxhall Ampera-e | CAR Magazine

GM pulls plug on RHD Vauxhall Ampera-e

Published: 28 September 2016

► Electric Ampera-e on display in Paris
► Claimed range of 250 miles
► No RHD version planned for UK market

The new Ampera-e has as much power as a Corsa VXR and boasts class-leading range, but because it has an Opel badge and not a Vauxhall one, you can’t have one. Sorry – no right-hand drive versions are planned.

All is not lost though, as Luton plans to ‘evaluate’ the new electric vehicle – which is the European version of the Chevrolet Bolt – in the UK after its Paris motor show reveal. If it looks like it’ll sell here, we might get a future generation of the car in right-hand drive.

What’s so special about the Ampera-e?

We reckon it’s certainly worth a look thanks to 202bhp and 266 lbs ft of electric power, plus a claimed 250-mile range – more than the current BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and VW e-Golf.

Obviously in real-world conditions you’re not guaranteed that range, but Vauxhall reckons you can expect 185 miles between charges in everyday conditions. Power comes from a 33kWh battery packed into the floor, so you’ve got space inside for five and a 381-litre boot.

2016 Vauxhall Ampera-e

From a standing start it will accelerate to 30mph in 3.2 seconds, giving sprightly performance around town, and on the move the top speed is electronically limited to 93mph.

A special battery regeneration system means you can drive around using only the right-hand pedal, with the electric motor regenerating power by braking when you release the accelerator. This one-pedal mode should increase the range by up to five per cent, says Vauxhall, plus it scores massive lazy driving points.

So, what’s next?

Rory Harvey, Vauxhall chairman and managing director, said: ‘The technology which underpins the new Ampera-e is of great interest to us, and we will be evaluating LHD cars from next spring and demonstrating them to clients.

2016 Vauxhall Ampera-e

‘The fact that Ampera-e is not an eco-luxury or second car for customers broadens its appeal greatly, but it’s obviously vital that the car we sell in our market is right-hand-drive, and that won’t be available in the current generation.’

Fingers crossed we get one soon, then…

See more from the Paris motor show here

By Adam Binnie

Bauer Automotive's commercial content editor; likes bikes and burgers, often over-tyred