Opel is no longer part of the General Motors empire, so the paths you see the automaker taking now will be harder to relate to the US market, if it's even possible in the first place. Nevertheless, a new 300-horsepower plug-in hybrid is always worth celebrating, even if it's forbidden fruit in the US.
Opel on Monday unveiled the Grandland X Hybrid4 crossover. Opel's first plug-in hybrid is the start of a big electrification push, as the automaker wants to electrify its entire lineup by 2024. Battery-electric cars are on the way, but for now, consider this an amuse bouche.
The Opel Grandland X Hybrid4 starts with a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 that puts out 200 horsepower on its own. That setup is mated to a pair of electric motors, one on each axle, that combines with the gas engine to generate a net 300 hp. By Europe's new WLTP efficiency standards, Opel reckons its battery will be good for about 31 miles of electric-only travel, which the automaker says should cover 80% of all daily journeys in Germany. A 3.3-kilowatt charger is standard, but if you need juice in a hurry, there's a 6.6-kW charger on offer, too.
The Grandland X Hybrid4 packs four different driving modes. Electric mode allows the vehicle to operate on electricity alone, for as long as the battery can handle it. Hybrid mode automatically chooses the most efficient method of propulsion, while Sport turns up all the wicks to improve responsiveness. And then there's AWD mode, which activates the rear axle's electric motor for improved traction. There's also a regenerative braking system that's powerful enough to enable one-pedal driving.
This Opel's design may still have shades of Buick's latest design language in it, but underneath, the platform is Peugeot, since that's the company that owns Opel now. It's like a sharper, larger Buick Encore, and that relationship is clear inside, where the overall dashboard design and various switchgear bits point back to its former father, General Motors.
There's a lot more where the Grandland X Hybrid4 came from. In less than two years, Opel will unveil new generations of the Corsa, Zafira Life MPV, Vivaro LCV and Mokka X, all of which will have battery-electric variants.