The most enlightening spy photos of the production version of the 2011 Opel Ampera plopped in our inbox today. At first we thought it was just the concept model out testing, but a closer look at the completely undisguised Ampera with the German license plates revealed that this is the actual production model that's due to go on sale in Europe and the UK (as a Vauxhall) in late 2011.
A sister model to the North American Chevrolet Volt, the road-ready Ampera features a few minor styling tweaks and additions over last year's concept model (see pictures here).
At the back, the boot lid spoiler has been extended and features a larger third-stop light, while the reflectors on the corners of the bumper have been pushed outwards and the diffuser on the bumper has been redesigned and incorporates center mounted lights.
The new alloy wheel designs, the addition of a fuel cap on the front fender, the larger and more practical exterior mirrors and the body painted rooftop complete the list of changes over the concept car.
A quick recap of the details we already know, the Ampera will use the same plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain as the Volt. It mates a powerful electric motor and a 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery pack to a 75HP 1.4-liter gasoline engine.
But unlike conventional hybrids that use gasoline engines to power the wheels when the battery is depleted, the Ampera uses the petrol unit to generate electricity for the electric motor that always drives the (front) wheels.
Owners will be able to charge the battery pack with a home outlet and drive for about 64km or 40 miles before the gasoline engine-generator kicks in to extend the Ampera's range to more than to more than 300 miles or 480 kilometers.
While Opel has said that it will show the Ampera in Geneva, the German automaker did not clarify if it will present the concept or series-production model.