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Preview: 2009 Opel Vectra

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Opel’s aging Vectra sedan is well overdue for a major overhaul, but a replacement vehicle isn’t due until the second half of next year. In the meantime, this latest rendering gives us a clue as to what the new Vectra will look like and shows that its designers are likely to adopt the lines first seen on Opel’s Gran Turismo Coupe Concept displayed at the recent Geneva Motor Show.

Several prototypes have been spotted by spy photographers that reveal the new Vectra will have a wider and taller body than the current generation. The larger body is seen as a key strategy towards positioning the new Vectra up-market, putting it on a better standing against cars like Volkswagen’s Passat and the Alfa Romeo 159. It’s also better suited towards US tastes, where the new Vectra will replace the current Aura sedan in Saturn’s lineup in North America.

Based on General Motors’ new Epsilon 2 platform, the new Vectra will remain FWD but will offer better refinement and driving dynamics including the addition of adaptive dampers on high-spec models. The new model range is also expected to include a performance 4WD version powered by a 2.8L V6 turbo developing close to 300hp. Other powerplants in the lineup should include a 200hp naturally aspirated version, as well as a 2.7L V6 turbodiesel.

The wraps should come off at next year’s Geneva Motor Show before the car officially starts sales towards the end of the year as a 2009 model. Before that, another concept car is rumored to be revealed at this year’s Frankfurt Show in September that’s said to be much closer to the production version.

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