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Official: Flex-ible Meriva

2010-01-05 09:48
Look at what we unearthed, buried deep in the recesses of the GM media site… The new generation Meriva - with its innovative FlexDoors - is ready for its first showing in March.

First shown as the Meriva Concept at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the MPV study was ahead of its time showing fresh packaging and promising greater flexibility. The strong talking point? The concept's rear hinged doors that could be opened separately thanks to the retention of the B-pillars.

Fast forward two years and Opel is ready to reveal the production version, largely on track despite the company being dealt a few blows - particularly in the last year.

The production version has also retained quite a few of the concept's styling details. The clever door system allows for hassle-free access to the interior and should therefore also make it easier to bundle in the munchkins and go.

Opel's modular FlexSpace interior detail is in use again, although this time said to be more user-friendly than before.

It again offers a range of configurations to meet the family's needs with rear seats that are easier to fold down and slide forward or back to create more boot or legroom. Opel claims the seat design is a reflection of that seen in the Astra and Insignia, so seats should be more comfortable, too.

Another cool new tool is the introduction of a FlexRail system for the centre console that effectively serves as a base for owners to affix various storage compartments and armrests at will.

Styling follows the trend currently seen with Opel products, though this Meriva also has a very stylish step in the window detail on the rear door.

The MPV is expected to get a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines mated with five- and six-speed manual 'boxes and perhaps even a six-speed auto'.

And Meriva's longer wheelbase and wider stance also promise better stability and a more cosseting ride.

However, fans of the brand and the Meriva's clever system should not dance for joy just yet. Given GMSA's trimming of the Opel line-up in SA, it's unlikely this little MPV will make it here.

New Meriva will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, with sales starting in Europe by mid-year. 


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