Thursday, March 23, 2006

4-door saloon future: Opel Vectra

The next Opel Vectra is scheduled for 2008. Several interpretations of its expected design are presented in the figures below. These are mainly photoshops based in the the current Vectra and in the concept car Insignia. However, there is one missing: the photoshop with “Huckfeldt” written on it. That means we don’t have reliable information regarding the final design. And a good reason for it is that the next Vectra is a bit late. Why is it late?

The truth is that the next Vectra was supposed to use a RWD platform. The Zeta platform planned by GM to be used in a number of American, Australian and European models ( Unfortunately about one and half years ago GM decided to put that on hold a concentrate development efforts on other vehicle platforms. That was so disappointing for Opel fans, although in reality there are not many of them… so nobody cared, especially in GM. In the meantime GM presented the Chevrolet Camaro concept and the huge response in America forced them to rethink, so the development of the Zeta platform is back on track again but unfortunately that was too late for Vectra. I will not comment much more the consequences of this unfortunate (and typical of GM) decision. If someone is reading this blog then he or she surely knows enough about cars to understand the superiority, credibility and prestige of RWD vehicles in this class…

Anyway, FWD the Vectra will be and not many technical advances are expected. There were reports that it would drive by itself ( but of course that is bollocks. It will surely have the current radar-cruise control systems but that’s it. The best thing we might expect for this car is the use of the 2.4JTD engine and an improvement of the 3.0 V6 diesel from Isuzu. If Opel can make this happen that would be very good.

Regardless of the techincal bits the one thing that everyone is expecting is the design. We know it will have a front inspired by the Insignia concept although I sure hope they don’t make all that chrome look like plastic. The only advantage of this car being late right now is that it would have incorporated the modern trend of the 4 door coupé influence. Hopefully Opel learned something by watching the success of the Peugeot 407 and Merc CLS and eventually opted for a more emotional design in a coupé-like shape. The failure of the Signum derivative (a taller hatchback version of the current Vectra) can also have forced them to choose a less practical and more emotional design. I have high hopes about the design of this new Vectra, although I also know that one should not have high hopes about Opels...
Opel Insignia concept

No comments: