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The Chevy Volt had its time to shine awhile back when the first pre-production examples rolled off the lines. Now the attention turns to the Opel Ampera as it hits the same milestone. Late last week, the first pre-production 2012 Opel Ampera sprung to life after making the trip down the line at General Motors' Warren, MI facility.

In the months ahead, workers will build more and more of these pre-production Amperas, though none of them will be available for purchase (darn). The vehicles will undergo a battery of tests to identify any problems. Software tweaks and other minor changes will almost certainly be made before final production units roll out. Some of the Amperas will cross the pond for testing in Europe while others will stay nearby, giving us a chance to possibly catch one while testing. All indications point to the Ampera being on track for a public release late next year. As Ampera chief engineer Andrew Farah said:
We're right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year.There's still work to be done, but being able to drive an Opel Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe.
With the timeline intact for both the Volt and the Ampera, GM is quickly closing in on the big date that feels like its been decades in the making. We can't wait.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Opel]

PRESS RELEASE

Opel Ampera Passes Production Milestone


Warren, Mich./Rüsselsheim – The Opel Ampera passed an important milestone Friday, April 23, when the first pre-production Model Year 2012 Ampera rolled off the line at GM's Pre-Production Operations assembly line in Warren, Michigan.

Assembly workers will build more pre-production Amperas in the coming months. These pre-production vehicles will not be sold at dealerships, but used instead for testing and validating the production intent design as well as developing the final vehicle software and controls. Engineers in Europe and the United States also use them to tune the vehicle's overall driving experience. Some of these Amperas will have very short lives as they will be used in safety and structural integrity testing.

"We're right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year," said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Ampera "There's still work to be done, but being able to drive an Opel Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe."

The Opel Ampera extended-range electric vehicle delivers up to 60 kilometers of pure electric driving before an engine-generator kicks in to sustain the battery charge and seamlessly extend the range to more than 500 kilometers. The battery can be charged by plugging the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard household outlet. It is scheduled to go on sale end 2011.

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