Frankfurt auto show: Opel signals its future styling with the Monza

Irish MD says it’s time to inject more fun back into the Irish motoring fleet


We need to put a little fun back into the car market, and not just have people driving lawnmowers. So says David Sheeran, managing director of Opel Ireland, who reckons that much of the fun has gone out of the car pool in Ireland as buyers became fixated on saving €100 or so on motor tax rather than investing in a car that offers them more fun.

Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show where Opel unveiled the impressive looking new Monza Concept, Sheeran said: “We need to get the balance back into the car pool. There needs to be room for enthusiasts in each segment as well.”

A fan of the Opel OPC performance range, he regrets that in the current market there is very limited pick up for such cars in Ireland at present, though he hopes that with some signs of recovery in the market there might be a revival in the fortunes of the performance variants from mainstream brands.

The Monza concept, however, is not simply a large sports car prototype. It represents the styling direction - at least in its front nose - that Opel will adapt on future large models. Look closely and you can see that the new face would look well on the next Insignia perhaps.

Inside there are further indications as to where Opel models may be headed. The use of graphic displays across the dash and a seemingly “floating” binnacle are pointers to where Opel hopes to develop its infotainment systems in years to come. In the not-too-distant future we can expect to see graphics, sat-nav information or even video featuring on the actual dash rather than confined to a small embedded screen.

That’s for the future: for now Sheeran is content with Opel’s continued development of engines that fit well with the Irish tax regime. These include lower emission petrol engines that he says won’ break the bank but will offer motorists a little more fun to drive.