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New Opel Antara Targets European Growth Market

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· Elegant, dynamic crossover will be launched by end of 2006

· Powerful diesel and gasoline variants; top-of-the-line 3.2 V6 with 224 hp

· Intelligent four-wheel drive with electro-hydraulic differential

· Prices start at 26,850 euro

Rüsselsheim. Following the enthusiastic reaction to the Antara GTC crossover concept car at the IAA 2005, Opel launches this year the five-door production version of the new Antara. “With the new Antara, we are entering one of the fastest-growing segments in Europe. It is a technically sophisticated vehicle with a unibody construction which combines dynamic design with intelligent four-wheel drive, high levels of functionality and a higher seat position – tailor-made for a growing customer base,” says Opel Managing Director, Hans Demant. The total share of the combined SUV and crossover market in Europe has doubled since 1998, from three to six percent, with continued growth expected.

“When we presented the Antara GTC concept car last September at the IAA in Frankfurt, it immediately became the star of the show,” says Alain Visser, Executive Director, European Marketing, Adam Opel GmbH. “Now the production version is ready. It realizes our high ambitions in the growing crossover market, as it takes the coupé-like sporty character of the three-door Antara GTC concept, and transforms it into a dynamic, elegantly designed five-door series-production model, with five seats and remarkable interior versatility.” Prices for the new Antara - with 2.4-liter-gasoline engine - will start at 26,850 euro. “That is a very modest price for such a high-value crossover,” adds Visser. While the opening of the GM Europe Design Center in Rüsselsheim today provides the first opportunity to see the new model, the Antara will make its public world premiere at the Mondial de l´ Automobile in Paris (September 30 – October 15, 2006).

The special character of the Antara design is spotlighted by bold contrasts. The lower section looks very robust, and the body features bold lines and taut surfaces that combine to give a sporty muscular appearance with stylish elegance. The designers visualized a versatile car, that is both dynamic and comfortable for long journeys. Carefully crafted details such as the crease on the hood and the grille accented by the wide chrome bar with large Opel logo confidently emphasize the car’s high quality and brand identity.

High ground clearance, large wheels and robust protective elements all round are defining characteristics of the new Antara, as are its compact dimensions (length x width x height: 4.57 x 1.85 x 1.70 meters). It takes up no more space than a mid-size passenger car, while at the same time offering ample interior room. The interior echoes the style and elegance of a top-of-the-line sedan, with sporty contoured seats that highlight its dynamic SUV character. In characteristic Opel style, all instruments and operating controls are ergonomically placed and arranged. The large, well-designed instruments and center console with central info display give the cockpit a driver-oriented layout. On board are innovative infotainment systems familiar from other Opel models, including DVD navigation and Bluetooth functionality.

Initially, three transversally-mounted engines are available for the Antara, all of which have four valves per cylinder. The top-of-the-line unit is closely related to the six-cylinder engines of the Vectra and Signum models. The Antara’s V6 gasoline engine has 3.2-liter displacement, output of 165 kW/224 hp, and comes with an automatic transmission with ActiveSelect function. Opel expects the 110 kW/150 hp, 2.0-liter common-rail turbo-diesel to be the top seller. It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox, or with the same automatic transmission as the V6 engine. The entry-level engine is a 2.4-liter, 104 kW/141 hp, four-cylinder gasoline unit with two overhead camshafts and one balance shaft.

The Antara’s intelligent active four-wheel drive system combines the benefits of front-wheel drive - such as tractional stability when accelerating and increased driving dynamics - with those of permanent four-wheel drive. It features an electronically controlled electro-hydraulic differential which ensures optimal torque distribution between the front and rear axles in all situations. The drivetrain is fully integrated in the ABS and ESP systems, enhancing vehicle control and active safety.

Other standard functions include Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Active Rollover Protection (ARP), and (unusually for the Antara´s segment) Descent Control System (DCS). DCS enables the Antara to be driven safely on steep slopes at a constant speed, which is pre-selected by the position of the gas pedal. Trailer Stabilization Assist (TSA) is available as an option. The McPherson suspension in front and a four-link suspension in the rear provide a high-quality chassis concept similar to that in the Opel Vectra and Signum models. The braking system comprises large-sized ventilated disc brakes on all wheels.

Opel is now staking a claim as leader among volume manufacturer in the midsize crossover market, which has been mostly dominated by non-European brands until now. Thanks to the synergy-effects of GM’s worldwide development capacity, a vehicle has been created with an unmistakably unique brand character, distinguished by its sporty design, high-quality interior and dynamic chassis settings.

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Not surprisingly, it's less bold than the concept was...and I see a hint of Korean design in there. Still, it looks quite nice. I really hope the Vue looks like this...why? Well first it looks way better than the current Vue, and if you look at the center stack...for the first time I've seen ina GM car...it's totally integrated!

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I like the interior but the exterior is really... meh.

I hope it's not expensive as the 26k euros price would suggest.

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I like the interior but the exterior is really... meh.

I hope it's not expensive as the 26k euros price would suggest.

The Saturn won't have to be shipped anywhere near as far, and market conditions are different in NA.

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What were all those journalists at the "top-secret preview" talking about? If this is the next VUE, which we all know it is, this is a major disappointment.

Overall, the design looks likes a 1999 Lexus RX300. The proportions are goofy. The stance is really weak. Alot of "cheap" details bring it down...excessive use of cladding, and a Range-Rover-sized vent on a compact SUV?!? However, the design is cohesive and the build quality looks high. But really, looking at this car gives me the same feeling as when I see a Kia Amanti...a copycat with the wrong styling in all places.

This design is really anonymous, derivative, and weak. Thumbs down.

Some suggested fixes (if you're reading GM)...

- Take the cladding off the wheel wells: the will take away the top heaviness and give the car a greater stance.

- Redesign the side vent - okay, it's a point of stylistic differentiation, you say, and it connects both character lines well. But it just doesn't work...how bout something smaller and horizontal...the vertical vent stops the flow of the design, horizontal vents add to it.

- Redesign the cladding - I understand it hides the front overhang of the vehicle, but its too "melted." Why not something more precise ala Captiva? And why so much plastic in the rear...take it down a notch! Have you learned nothing from the Aztek!?!

In summary, the design is not bad, in fact its just fine...and it will certainly attract buyers. It's just not enough. Well put together, yes. Really different from the competition? No. Revolutionary? Would've been in 2000. GM & Saturn need knockout vehicles from here on out, and this leaves me cold. Although I don't like it, the RAV4 is much more creative stylistically in addition to having a much stronger powertrain, but like I said, I don't like it. Get more creative, fellas...get Simon Cox on this thing.

And quite frankly, I was alot more impressed when the original VUE debuted.

Edited by red

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I'm really disappointed with the exterior. It does look very bland and Korean, and nothing like the concept. This is almost as bad as the G6 concept to production.

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Not surprisingly, it's less bold than the concept was...and I see a hint of Korean design in there. Still, it looks quite nice. I really hope the Vue looks like this...why? Well first it looks way better than the current Vue, and if you look at the center stack...for the first time I've seen ina GM car...it's totally integrated!

It's not intergrated enough for me... I hate two-tier stacks like that. It should be one continuous flowing design. Otherwise, yeah, it's more integrated than anything from GMNA.

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It's not intergrated enough for me... I hate two-tier stacks like that. It should be one continuous flowing design. Otherwise, yeah, it's more integrated than anything from GMNA.

Cost, BV, cost. It's a business world at the end of the day.

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i expected it to look like this from the spy shots. it has been disappointing to me for a while. too korean in design as some have stated, though the interior is definitely nice. will complement the rest of the saturns pretty well though.

could have been much much better

Edited by turbo200

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