The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving

This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?

1st Gear: Ok, Well, Crap. I like This.

The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving


At the Historics this weekend we saw a Buick Monza charging down Turn 4, which was awesome.

The Monza name has been gone for a generation but this concept previews a new form for the Opel/Vauxhall brand, with a next generation Ampera/Volt powertrain.

Here's how they describe the design:

The Monza Concept’s roof line is particularly sophisticated. At first it runs in a semi-circular form like a classic coupé’s, but then just before reaching the tailgate it sweeps slightly upwards. In spite of its sporty look and flat silhouette with a height of just 1.31 metres, there is neither loss of space in the luggage compartment – 500 litres in volume – nor constrained headroom for the passengers. This is due to the fact that the whole cockpit structure is around 15 centimetres lower than in conventional models. The Monza Concept offers the same airy passenger compartment as a mid-size car.

With a "modular" design they say they can swap in a CNG range extender or a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo for the same job.

2nd Gear: Your Ford Fiestas Will Arrive In A Few Weeks

The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving

Our affection for the Ford Fiesta ST is almost boundless, which is why we're pleased the tiny hot hatch will finally be delivered to excited customers in what The Detroit Free Press says is "Summer's End" which means soon, we hope.

The little ST will will join its big brother Focus ST, albeit with a starting price that's about $2,500 lower.

While price will be a factor in which car you get, I actually think there's probably also a large segment of people who want the smallest, fastest thing they can get.

3rd Gear: Silverado And Sierra Are Also Pretty Tough

The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving

Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declared the Tesla Model S the safest car ever built by their standards.

Today, the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra also impress under NHTSA's tougher rating system. They're the first pickup trucks tested under the system and thus the only ones to get an overall five stars reports Automotive News.

4th Gear: Can Tech Cure Drunk Driving?

The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving

Speaking of NHTSA, David Shepardson brings us news from Washington that the agency continues to support technological innovation that might end drunk-driving.

The group is working with two auto suppliers with different approaches that “are shown to be very, very effective,” Strickland said at a speech last week. “We probably have another five years of work to go,” Strickland said, before it’s possible one of these cars could be on the roads. “It will be available as an option by manufacturers, and I think it’s a real way forward.”

5th Gear: What If Nissan Built A Duster?

The Opel Monza Concept Makes Europe Worth Saving

India's new Nissan Terrano answers the question above of what would happen if Dacia's parent company decided to build their own version of the Romanian discount brand's spectacularly popular Duster SUV/CUV.

You can see a live photo here.

While Duster-based, the Terrano is slightly up scale with a more Nissan/attractive visage.

Reverse: Olds Founded

Ransom Eli Olds of Lansing, Michigan, founds Olds Motors Works—which will later become Oldsmobile—on August 21, 1897. Born in Geneva, Ohio, in 1864, Olds went to work for his family's machine-repair and engine-building business in 1883. In 1896, Olds completed his first gasoline-powered vehicle, and the following year he founded Olds Motor Works with financial backing from Samuel L. Smith, who had made his fortune in lumber. After the company moved from Lansing to Detroit in 1900, a fire destroyed all of its cars except its small, one-cylinder curved-dash model. Light, reliable and relatively powerful, the curved-dash Oldsmobile (as Olds had renamed his company) became a commercial sensation after appearing at the New York Auto Show in 1901. Olds returned to Lansing in 1902 and began large-scale production of the car.

[HISTORY]

Neutral: Opel Monza What do you think?

Photo Credit: Getty Images