The first pre-production Model Year 2012 Ampera has rolled off the line at GM’s pre-production operations assembly line in Warren, Michigan.

GM said that assembly workers will build more pre-production Amperas in the coming months.

The pre-production vehicles will not be sold at dealerships, but used for testing and validating the production intent design as well as developing the final vehicle software and controls. 

Engineers in Europe and the US will also use them to tune the vehicle’s overall driving experience. Some will also be used in safety and structural integrity testing.

“We’re right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year,” said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Ampera

“There’s still work to be done, but being able to drive an Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe.”

The Opel/Vauxhall Ampera shares its extended-range electric vehicle propulsion system with the Chevrolet Volt.

The Opel Ampera is on sale end-2011 in continental Europe, with the RHD Vauxhall version for the UK following in early 2012.