Vauxhall has started work on a range topping vehicle to be powered by a fuel cell and which could be launched late 2016 or early 2017, according to rumours.
Reports have apparently been leaked out of Opel, Vauxhall’s continental cousin, that the company expects to shift 20,000 units of the model each year. It would sit above the Insignia in the range, whose Epsilon II platform it will share. This is a sector Vauxhall/Opel last occupied with the slow selling Signum, which stopped production in 2008.
The new model, being codenamed ‘TOL’ for ‘Top Of Line’, is believed to be a cross over style car, with features of both an estate car and a SUV. A fuel cell propulsion system is being proposed in order to make the car unique and act as a technological spearhead for Vauxhall — as well as boost the company’s green credentials. Other power options may feature in addition, including a range extender EV powertrain similar to that in the Ampera but using a small diesel engine as the generator to keep the lithium ion batteries charged.
It is not known whether the TOL will pick up styling cues from the Flextreme concept shown at the Geneva motor show in 2010, although that vehicle (pictured) seems to met the brief with its cross over design.
Production is expected to start in Russelheim, Germany from 2017.