NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

New Opel Meriva: First Official Photos and Details on GM's Mini MPV with Suicide Rear Doors

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New Opel Meriva: First Official Photos and Details on GM's Mini MPV with Suicide Rear Doors

While GM's U.S. division was unveiling the new Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, on the other side of the pond, the automaker's UK arm Vauxhall, and consequently Opel, pulled the covers off or shall we say, opened up the doors, to the all-new Meriva. Critically, the new mini-MPV is the first Opel to feature GM's FlexDoor technology, showcased on the 2008 Meriva concept model.

And by FlexDoors we mean the rear-hinged back doors that swing open towards the back of the car at an angle of nearly 90 degree. Even though the Meriva still uses a central B-pillar, the company said that the Flexdoors "vastly improve the ease with which occupants enter and leave the cabin".

Opel also highlighted the fact that, unlike other suicide-door applications such as on the Mazda RX-8 and Rolls Royce Phantom and Ghost, the Meriva's front and rear doors can open independently.

The Meriva's exterior styling has remained relatively close to the concept model keeping many features like the unique glasshouse design that incorporates a downward kink at the back doors just behind the B-pillar, unchanged, while it also shares many styling cues with both the Insignia and Astra.

While Opel did not release any pictures of the interior, the company said that the cabin will be heavily influenced by the Insignia and Astra both in terms of styling and perceived quality of the materials.

The mini-MPV's interior versatility will be boosted by the improved FlexSpace system that allows easier fold-down of the three individual rear seats that can also be mounted back independently to create more boot, leg or shoulder room.

A new feature for the 2010 Meriva is the FlexRail system that incorporates a dual-rail base on the lower center console allowing owners to attach a variety of modular storage bins.

The second-generation model of Opel's mini-MPV rides on a new platform with a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks, thus promising to improve the car's ride and handling qualities.

Power will come from a lineup of six turbocharged diesel and gasoline units with outputs ranging from 75 to 140PS. Opel said that average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will be down 15 per cent across the range while a high mpg/low CO2 ecoFLEX model will also be offered.

The new Meriva, which will compete against other mini-MPVs like the Citroen C3 Picasso, the Kia Venga as well as the Honda Jazz (Fit in the States), will be formally introduced at the Geneva Motor Show next March.

link with many photos:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-opel-meriva-first-official-photos.html

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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Wow, the beltline kink is almost exactly the same as on the Buick Business concept, which was almost exactly the same as on the Citroën C4 Picasso. Otherwise it's a clean, pleasant design, but it doesn't really stand out in its class.

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bring it! i was skeptical about the suicide doors, BUT they operate independently, and when you have small kids you like the doors to move away from the pillar, not be hinged to it. it won't sell a lot but it is youthful, would bring younger folks to buick, its a tall astra, why not a buick? It looks good too. i think its a nice alternate to a mazda 5. like a larger HOnda Fit that is actually useful and solid. or a better pontiac vibe. is this perhaps the Encore?

3.jpg

image is one of them at km77.com

if the kid nails the soccer ball just right and hits his dad in the right spot, his daddy will tumble like a building that has been imploded....

Edited by regfootball
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Not bad looking for this type of vehicle, and the suicide doors are a good idea for ingress/egress and ease of mom/child loading.

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Handsome little thing. Suicide doors are cool, though sliding doors are better...just not as "cool".

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How about scissor style doors for a people mover like this? have the rear ones flip through 90 degrees or so..

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When the door is longer than the quarter panel, how are you going to put a track in there long enough to get enough sliding travel for a decent-sized opening? This was the best solution. Look how wide that rear door opens, it takes full advantage of the available opening.

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is this perhaps the Encore?

I expect the Encore to be a SUV, not a MPV. I don't think Buick US will see this as I don't see it selling on the US. The NG Zafira, on the other hand, could be an interesting offering.

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I expect the Encore to be a SUV, not a MPV. I don't think Buick US will see this as I don't see it selling on the US. The NG Zafira, on the other hand, could be an interesting offering.

Is this bigger or same size as Fit? The Ford S Max? When is Zafira due?

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Is this bigger or same size as Fit? The Ford S Max? When is Zafira due?

I believe it is bigger than the Fit/Jazz.

S Max is Mondeo-based and that is huge compared to this. The C-Max, which is Focus-based, is one size class larger than the Meriva.

The 3 door Astra and the Astra wagon should be introduced this year, so the new Zafira should be out 2010 or 2011.

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>>"When the door is longer than the quarter panel, how are you going to put a track in there long enough to get enough sliding travel for a decent-sized opening?"<<

A telescoping design should do it easily enough (power antennas surmount the same issue), but I agree that for this type of vehicle, a suicide door set-up had advantages.

Edited by balthazar
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I believe it is bigger than the Fit/Jazz.

S Max is Mondeo-based and that is huge compared to this. The C-Max, which is Focus-based, is one size class larger than the Meriva.

The 3 door Astra and the Astra wagon should be introduced this year, so the new Zafira should be out 2010 or 2011.

People who wanted a Fit, but wanted one that was larger and more of a real car would buy this.

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People who wanted a Fit, but wanted one that was larger and more of a real car would buy this.

Definitely! The Fit (or Jazz as we know it here in Europe) is shaped like an MPV but it really is a Fiesta/Corsa competitor. This is a real small MPV that is based on the Corsa's platform.

Edited by ZL-1
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