- The City-Stromer can be driven at the age of 15 and should point to a new era …
- Not really a new approach
- Identical parts reduce costs
- It doesn’t take more … or?!
- Please bring your own infotainment
- Departure in November
The City-Stromer can be driven at the age of 15 and should point to a new era …
In Germany it will be the Citroen Ami – this tiny electric light vehicle – not give. Instead, Opel brings At the end of 2021, the Rocks-e launched the market to establish the SUM ("Sustainable Urban Mobility") segment and to close the gap between scooters and small cars. From the age of 15 you will be able to drive the 45 km / h wagon with an insurance license plate. We’ll take a seat.
Not really a new approach
The idea of an extremely small and light city vehicle is not new at Opel. As early as 1995, the Russelsheim-based company showed the MAXX Concept a two-seater just 2.9 meters long. This was followed in 2004 by the slightly longer 2 + 2 study TRIXX Concept at three meters (here a contemporary article from 17 years ago about it). Both models, however, were still powered by a combustion engine and required a driver’s license. Then came the RAK-e Concept in 2011 at the IAA in Frankfurt – a good nine months after Renault in Paris the similar Twizy had presented to the world public.
But nothing came of Opel‘s ambitions. Profit margins are not really to be expected in such a segment and General Motors as the parent company was apparently not the right partner for such mobility concepts. With PSA and now even Stellantis in the back, things look different and since the Ami for Citroen has already been fully developed, projects with an uncertain outcome and extremely low margins can also be implemented for Opel with low development costs.
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To the configurator
The result is the Opel Rocks-e. A vehicle for young novice drivers, commuters on the outskirts, urban couriers or, for example, care services who can cope with little space and a reduced range, but at the same time do not want to be exposed to the weather and want to transport more luggage than would be possible on a two-wheeler, for example – cargo bikes excluded . And of course you should always find a parking space everywhere and be on the move electrically.
Identical parts reduce costs
It looks funny, this 2.41 x 1.39 x 1.52 meter Rocks-e. The front and rear look identical. So you get an Opel Vizor for the front and rear. This is complemented by bright LED lighting and equally designed doors. On the driver’s side, the door swings open to the rear, the front passenger opens his entrance normally and the door opens to the front. The reason for the back-and-front or left-as-right principle is a significant cost saving. All doors and all bumpers are identical parts.
We powered the 7.20-meter turning circle monster (the first Smart Fortwo was a bit better in this discipline) by a 6 kW electric motor that is powered by a 5.5 kWh battery. 45 km / h are possible at the top. You can’t do more in the L6e class. The range according to the WLTP standard is 75 kilometers and the battery can be recharged via a household socket in around 3.5 hours. The cable for this is located together with the connector in a compartment at the rear end of the passenger door. The three-meter-long system is quick to take out. Storing takes a little longer because of the limited space.
It doesn’t take more … or?!
The Rocks-e weighs 471 kg. So it’s a real lightweight. How these few kilos are realized can be seen and felt everywhere on the vehicle. The doors are incredibly light and you are immediately reminded of a Trabbi. The interior is very spartan. All the necessary functions are there to somehow turn the Rocks-e into a car, but on the headliner you can, for example, take a bare look at the frame structure. It all looks a bit cheap – but if it reduces weight, consumption and price, the all-you-need approach fits in well with the times.
The two seats are offset next to each other. So you can sit down next to each other even with broad shoulders. The headroom is also generous for people over 1.85 meters, the legroom in the passenger seat is exorbitantly large. This is because, in case of doubt, the footwell should not only be used for long legs and large feet, but the 63 liter volume must be filled with purchases or suitcases. There is no extra trunk.
Please bring your own infotainment
The infotainment technology in the cockpit is limited to a display for the speed, the driving modes (drive, neutral, reverse), the state of charge of the battery and the remaining range. In terms of air conditioning, there is a fan and a windshield blower … and hinged windows. In addition to the two buttons for climate control, there is also a switch for the hazard warning lights and a USB charging socket so that the smartphone can also be charged in the holder provided. An audio system? Nothing! However, in addition to numerous trays for small items, there is also a compartment for a round Bluetooth speaker. problem solved.
We take a seat on the thinly upholstered seats (weight, weight, weight), enjoy the grandiose view through the standard panoramic glass roof and discover that the seats are more comfortable than they look. You shouldn’t expect any lateral support, but you will not undertake risky performance rides with the Rocks-e anyway. After all, the trolley never had to pass a crash test. The vehicle class makes it possible. Just like the freedom never to have to go to the TÜV.
Departure in November
Now, after turning the key, we could press the "D" button between the seats and drive off … but … Opel will only grant us this step for the official driving event in November 2021. In a big city on the Main. Where else?!
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Hopefully prices will be announced at this point. So far, the manufacturer has been silent. A look at France and the Citroen Ami gives a good clue. The Stellantis Group is calling 6,990 euros there for the electric runabout. Citroen also communicates a leasing rate. The American should cost 19.99 euros per month. Some cell phone contracts are more expensive. However, you also have to pay almost half of the purchase price.
In any case, we are excited to see how the SUM segment will develop. Renault still has the Twizy and the Microlino in its range should also come this year. Both opponents, however, have an advantage for people over 18 and with the correct driver’s license: They are available with the same dimensions with a higher maximum speed, a large license plate, crash test and TÜV.
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