Created as a centrepiece to Vauxhall’s centenary, the VX Lightning was a concept project built at General Motor’s UK based Advanced Design Studio in Birmingham, who worked in partnership with the Vauxhall Opel Design Centre in Germany. It was based on the Pontiac Solstice concept which was launched in 2002 in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show.
The VX Lightning was styled by Studio Director and chief designer Simon Cox under the direction of Executive Director Anne Asensio. It features rollover hoops sculpted into the bodywork of the rear deck and a bold “V” motif on the front grille, which stretches back along the length of the bonnet. The car sits on huge alloy wheels: 19inch on the front and 20inch on the back. Some hints of the angular design language from the VX220 are also evident, albeit more subtle. The sculptural feel continued inside the car, with profiled leather seats in trademark Vauxhall black and red.
It was given an upgraded version of the company’s 2.2 litre ECOTEC four-cylinder engine, reworked with a supercharger to increase the brake horse power to 240bhp. Although there were no plans to put the concept car into production, elements of the VX Lightning were incorporated into the Opel GT Roadster.