Nov 8, 2000 - Opel/Vauxhall today unwrapped the first sketches of Signum2, a study of a new body-style concept for the 2001 motor show circuit.
The name continues the family link with Signum, a premium-segment prototype which made its debut at the 1997 Geneva Motor Show.
Signum2 features several details of its predecessor while combining dynamic design with an innovative interior. The concept and the unusual ideas underline Opel/Vauxhalls emphasis on innovative and versatile vehicle architectures.
The family relationship between the two concept cars is recognisable in the styling. Its 9ft 3in (2830mm) long wheelbase and the short rear-overhang, allow it to look exciting even while stationary, an impression enhanced by the muscular wheel arches filled by 19 inch wheels. Typical Opel/Vauxhall styling features are the taut, clean surfaces, defined shoulders and wheelarches, and prominent C-pillars.
The designers rejected a B-pillar above the belt line. Hans Seer, General Motors Europe director of design said: "From the side, Signum2 looks like a coupe, especially when the four frameless side-windows are fully retracted. A glass panorama-roof extending to the windscreen ensures a spacious and airy interior."
Four people can be carried in "business class" comfort. The large tailgate is also made of glass. The front is dominated by the Opel/Vauxhall trapezoidal grille and the three-dimensional, vertical headlamps. Like the new Corsa and VX220, Signum2 features a crease in the centre of the hood, part of the new 'face' of the Opel/Vauxhall range.
Totally new is the idea of folding the rear seat cushion and backs up to the height of the belt-line, thus creating a level surface - just by pushing a button. From the outside the car then looks like a two-seater, while luggage can be stowed safely and out of sight under the seats.
Entering Signum2 is easy and comfortable. Pull the door handle and the front seats swivel automatically towards the doorways. The steering wheel is lowered into the instrument panel, making access even easier.
When the seat is turned to the front, the steering wheel moves out at the push of a button, revealing a clear view of the instrument display. As well as information about the car, the display shows simple route navigation instructions.
More detailed road maps are displayed on the monitor in the centre console. The front seat passenger is equipped with a special screen that folds flat and disappears in the instrument panel above the glove-box when not in use.
Equally futuristic is the rear infotainment system, where the passengers can watch films in cinema quality, thanks to special video glasses and DVD players.
As with the Signum, engineers at Opel/Vauxhall's International Technical Development Centre in Germany have not used a conventional centre tunnel with gear shift and handbrake lever. Instead, the gears are selected via a rotary switch in the centre console, leaving space for a system of variable storage boxes between the seats.
Several small containers can be moved on a rail in the floor and fixed in any position between the console and the rear seats. Childrens toys, a coolbox with cup-holders, the equipment for a mobile office or even an espresso bar can be positioned within reach of any occupant.
See also: GM concept vehicles for 2001