Chevy Volt undercuts Opel Ampera

The Chevrolet Volt will go on sale in Europe at a price cheaper than that of its rebadged cousin the Opel Ampera, General Motors has announced.

The Volt, already on sale in the US, will go on sale for €41,950 in Germany, GM said March 4, with similar prices expected for other European markets.

That makes it almost €1000 cheaper than its cousin, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera, which will start at €42,900 despite that fact that it is effectively the same car with a tweaked design.

Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show, which runs through March 13 in Geneva, Switzerland, were able to compare the two production models side by side, becoming the first to judge whether the Ampera is worth the extra money (although the final selling price could still change).

AllCarsElectric's Antony Ingram said that the most obvious difference is in the styling, with the Volt clearly a Chevrolet but the Ampera looking like no other current Opel and featuring a far more distinctive front.

Another key difference is the addition of a charge-holding option to the Opel, which allows Ampera drivers to delay using EV mode until it suits them - allowing drivers to drive into a city on gasoline power and then switch to EV mode when they get there (potentially to circumvent restrictions on gasoline vehicles).

Apart from some further interior cosmetic alterations, the rest of the car is essentially the same, leading Motorward to comment that it's getting hard to understand Chevrolet's pricing policy for the Volt.

For many bloggers though, the trickiest thing to comprehend was that the Volt is coming to Europe at all to compete with a fellow GM vehicle.

"Please feel free to tell us... what could possibly be the reason behind GM's decision to sell, as soon as the Ampera is launched, basically the same vehicle under two different names," said AutoEvolution, "because, as hard we've tried, we can't find any."

The Geneva Motor Show runs through March 13 in Switzerland.

http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/

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