Vauxhall is to unveil a brace of stunning new models and a groundbreaking concept car at this year’s Geneva Show, which opens to press on March 6.
The hotly awaited, 280PS Astra VXR will wow Geneva show crowds ahead of its summer launch in the UK, and promises to raise the bar in the hot-hatch class, taking its lead from iconic predecessors like the Astra GTE Mk 1, 2 and 3 and outgoing VXR model.
In stark contrast, the Mokka breaks new ground for Vauxhall, as it enters the growing small SUV market with its sharp design, choice of front- and four-wheel drive and high degree of interior versatility.
But Vauxhall/Opel can also reveal that it will use Geneva to show off a radical and innovative concept vehicle that will reinforce the true breadth of its design and engineering expertise….
Vauxhall/Opel concept breaks cover
These are the first official images of Vauxhall/Opel’s RAD e concept vehicle. Vauxhall/Opel will present the “RAD e” design study in Geneva – a futuristic e-bike that complements the brand’s existing e-mobility strategy and offers a concept of integrated individual and urban mobility. The RAD e – the first e-bike to be built around automotive construction and production principles – carries much of Vauxhall/Opel’s typical design language such as the boomerang shaped features associated with the Ampera and the RAK e concept car. Its pedelec technology, with a 250 watt motor, gives the rider motorised support when pedaling and achieves a range of between 37 and 90 miles. In that sense, the RAD e responds to customer needs to be mobile when car use is restricted or not possible. The RAD e is unveiled at a time when e-bikes are widely expected to play a key role in future integrated urban transport, linking e-bikes, cars and buses.
Most powerful Astra ever makes show debut
Based on the GTC’s platform and powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine, the Astra VXR produces 280PS of power and a mighty 400Nm of torque, enough for it to achieve a top speed of 155mph.
But while the Astra VXR is based on the new GTC, it has benefited from a raft of bespoke chassis modifications, transforming it into a focused, high-performance coupe. Setting it apart from all other current Astras is a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential, which works on the front wheels. In conjunction with the GTC’s sophisticated HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), the LSD provides the Astra VXR with exceptional lateral grip and traction through bends.
Further changes to the chassis include brakes developed by competition supplier, Brembo, and standard fitment of Vauxhall’s fully adaptive FlexRide system. In the Astra VXR, FlexRide features not only a Sport button, but a VXR button, offering drivers the choice of two, more focused stages of damper, throttle and steering control.
Vauxhall’s Mokka breaks new ground for company
Vauxhall’s new small SUV will take the company into new market territory when it’s unveiled at Geneva. Called Mokka, the new model will enter the growing sub-compact SUV B-segment, and even at just 4.28 metres long can accommodate five adults in comfort.
The Mokka will be available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system automatically and seamlessly transfers power to the wheels that need it most when grip levels are tested to the extreme.
Power is provided by three efficient engines, all equipped with fuel saving Start/Stop technology. The petrol range comprises a 115PS, 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine or a 140PS 1.4-litre Turbo with 200Nm of torque. The diesel is a 130PS 1.7 CDTI turbo with 300Nm of torque. Both the 1.4 Turbo and the 1.7 CDTI can be combined either with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.
The Vauxhall Mokka brings cutting-edge technologies to the SUV B-segment. The Advanced Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+) which increases driving safety is based on the third-generation bi-xenon lighting system that includes High Beam Assist (HBA). The new generation Vauxhall front camera system is also available, giving the driver access to a number of functions including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Alert (FCA) and second generation Traffic Sign Recognition.
Muscular and attractive, the Mokka incorporates Vauxhall’s signature ‘blade’ on the body side, sweeping towards the rear. The Mokka’s rugged character is reinforced by its higher ground clearance as well as a 1540mm track. Its robust looks are further enhanced by 18-inch alloy wheels which are standard on most models.
The Vauxhall Mokka will be available at Vauxhall dealerships towards the end of 2012.
Show debut for Vauxhall’s most powerful diesel ever
Geneva will offer the public a first glance at Vauxhall’s most potent diesel car ever, producing 195PS, 400Nm of torque and emissions as low as 129g/km.
Known as the Insignia BiTurbo, and on sale now, it’s available with a choice of five-door Hatch and Sports Tourer bodies in SRi, SRi Vx-line and Elite trims, priced from £27,120 on the road.
The potent, twin-sequential turbocharged diesel is based on the existing 1956cc unit which powers key models in the Insignia, Astra and new Zafira Tourer range. However, in BiTurbo form the engine produces up to 35PS more power and a significant 50Nm of extra torque, reducing the 0-60mph time by nearly one second to 8.2 seconds (Insignia FWD Hatch).
But thanks to a package of eco features – including standard Start/Stop across the range – the FWD Hatch achieves a combined 57.6mpg, 2.2mpg better than the single-turbo 2.0 CDTi 160PS model.
Complementing this power gain, Vauxhall’s clever FlexRide adaptive damping is standard on all Insignia BiTurbos (normally a £790 option on front-wheel drive Insignias). The system reacts within milliseconds to driver inputs and can ‘learn’ how the car is being driven and adapt damper settings accordingly. Drivers can also select Tour and Sport buttons, and configure the throttle, steering and damper settings in Sport mode separately.
On four-wheel drive models, FlexRide is integrated with the car’s Torque Transfer Device (TTD) and the rear axle’s electronically controlled Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD). These features allow torque to be automatically transferred between front and rear wheels, and between left and right wheels on the rear axle, offering exceptional levels of traction, grip and control.
In common with other models in the Insignia range, the BiTurbo has the option of Vauxhall’s new Front Camera System, with traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control, which allows the driver to maintain a set distance from the car in front.