Vauxhall Meriva

6 Feb, 2008 12:48pm Sam Hardy

We take wraps off cool sister car to Vauxhall supermini that focuses on practicality.

Feast your eyes on the ‘Super Corsa’. This is Vauxhall’s striking new baby – a sleeker and more practical sister car to the popular supermini, which will offer buyers real flexibility and style when it goes on sale next year.

Effectively replacing the Meriva in the firm’s line-up, the newcomer is a very definite step upmarket. It will go into battle with models such as VW’s Golf Plus, the MINI Clubman and Ford’s upcoming Fiesta-based MPV.

As you can see from our exclusive pictures, which have been produced using insider information, the model drops the Meriva’s upright stance for something much more desirable.

Its shape has been heavily influenced by the Flextreme concept, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September. At the front, the model has the same pronounced grille, faired-in headlights and raised bonnet edges – a look that will also appear on the Vectra-replacing Insignia.

Its flanks get the same bold cut-outs as the Flextreme too, but it’s the rakish roofline – complete with panoramic glass – and rising waistline, which runs to the angled C-pillars, that really mark the newcomer out.

Together with a roof spoiler and a sharply styled rear, the design is sporty compared to the traditional look of the supermini-MPV Meriva.

In addition to our exclusive images, we can also reveal Vauxhall's first official sketch of the Concept Meriva. The drawing shows what to expect on the show stands of the Geneva Motor Show next month where the eye-catching hatchback will be revealed.

Although our illustrations show a model with conventional back doors, there’s a possibility that the newcomer will feature Flextreme-style rear-hinged items to boost practicality.

With suspension borrowed from the Corsa, the model will offer excellent agility and plenty of driver appeal. The newcomer will also use the super-mini’s engines, including 1.3-litre and 1.7-litre CDTI diesels and a 1.6-litre turbo petrol. All units will have stop-start technology to help to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions.

Sales of the newcomer are scheduled to kick off in early 2009.

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