When the Antara GTC concept appeared in 2005 at the Frankfurt Motorshow, pretty much everybody thought that the production version would look at least 50% as good when it arrives. That wishful thinking usually happens when talking about other car manufacturers. Apparently, not at Opel, since the production Antara only kept the front headlights and the name from the concept. Which is pretty much like a Mona Lisa reproduction made by a three-year old with crayons - not quite the same deal.
Pretty much everything about the Opel Antara screams "pig on wheels". Which, coincidentally or not, the Antara actually is. From some points of view, obviously. The front is very new-Opel-looking, which might actually pass as pretty to some people. The amount of pedestrian-friendly "plastic chrome" on the grille is a bit offensive on some eyes though, and most of us here at autoevolution found it a bit unnecessary. Also, the exterior rearview mirrors look a bit like Dumbo the Elephant's ears, if he were a cyborg.
Getting to the side of the car is where things actually get much worse. We're not exactly sure what actually happened, but we think that the designers probably got into a fight with the bean counters over what elements could be kept from the Antara GTC concept. Naturally, most of us first thought that the bean counters were the ones who won the fight, but after watching an interview with Stefan Arndt – Chief Designer for the Antara – we started having second thoughts. Apparently, in Arndt's vision, the profile of the production Antara was inspired by sports hiking shoes. Shoes!?! Seriously? Why would anyone want to drive a four-wheeled shoe?
Not to say that the overall proportions of the car are wrong, it's just that the design motifs taken from the Antara GTC concept don't look quite as good on a car as high and as narrow as the production version. The rear might actually be a near-perfect example of why tall and narrow never works in cars, only in trains.Continue reading
Hold on, Sir May B. Bach would like to say something...
You know what I never liked about Opel? They have been Volkswagen's... ahem... b*tch ever since the guys from Wolfsburg launched that dreadful little car they call the Golf. The Golf spanked Astra's behind with each and every generation it came. Then came that awful-looking Passat which... ahem... spanked the Vectra in almost every market they compete on also. What is it with Opel guys anyway? Is it because they were under the... ahem... GM umbrella for so long?
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →