Posted by Paul Horrell at 12:20PM on Thursday 01 February, 2007 It's a long time since I've been so surprised by a car. The pre-scripted version of the Opel GT was this: a roadster designed to be a Vauxhall show-car in 2003, repurposed to be a Saturn in America, then exported as an Opel to Europe in 2007. Has 265bhp turbo engine, is good-looking inside and out, costs little more than an MX-5, is spectacular value. But isn't available in RHD, so won't go on sale here, and will never wear the Vauxhall badge it was drawn for. Boo hoo, we wuz robbed, end of story. Except no. We wuz not robbed. Britain will rub along very nicely without the Opel GT. It's a car that plucks defeat from the very jaws of victory. It's not bad to drive, mind. The engine is related to the VXR Astra's but gets high-tech direct injection, kicking it up to 265bhp. That's 0-62mph in 5.7 and a wall of overtaking torque. There's a bit of roughness here and there, but this is a hearty enough powerplant. The GT grips and grips too, and the steering's OK with reservations. It's an effective muncher of corners, but you never quite get intimate with it. So it's an easy drive, and a fast cruiser rather than a hectic little tearaway. The ride's comfy, too. But if it's going to be a cruiser, it ought to be able take baggage and act practical. It fails miserably. The roof is ridiculously noisy when it's up, and is a colossal pain to fold away. You have to stop the car, empty the boot almost entirely, then wrestle to fold a canvas structure that's as intractable as the Millennium Dome. Then leave your stuff at the roadside. Have these guys never seen an MX-5? A Mazda's roof folds in five seconds from the driver's seat and doesn't touch the boot. Badged as the Saturn Sky, this car is selling well in the States. People must be using it as third car. A fun car. But in a European context, it's simply not enough fun to justify the aggro of living with it. Don't replace your VX220.