It's a five-door, four-seat hatchback driven by a 148bhp electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, but it also has a 1.4-litre petrol engine from a Corsa.
It's not a hybrid like the Toyota Prius, though, because the two power sources never work together to drive the car. The petrol engine is there purely to act as a generator to power the electric motor.
It also means incredible efficiency figures. Vauxhall has quoted preliminary figures of 175mpg and 40g/km of CO2 – that's significantly better than those you'll get from the hybrid section of the market.
Beauty of the range extender
It all works like this. Normally, you charge the car overnight on off-peak electricity – it takes about three hours – which gives you a range of around 40 miles on battery power.
What if you need to go further, though, or have to make an unexpected trip when the batteries are flat? That's where the petrol engine comes in, generating electricity on the move and allowing you to cover an extra 310 miles. sounds good, doesn't it...
Vauxhall Ampera gallery
Take a closer look…
Get closer to the innovative Vauxhall Ampera by having an closer look at its dashboard. Simply click on the icon in the bottom right corner of the photo below, then move your cursor around the photo for a closer look. The icon may take a few moments to load.