Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spied: 2011 Opel Meriva SUV with AWD in the Works

Think the next-generation 2010 Meriva with its rear 'suicide doors' is all Opel has to offer in the subcompact MPV segment? Think again. Here's proof that General Motor's European unit is working on an SUV variant of its minivan that could go into production as early as 2011. The early test mule seen in these spy pictures combines a modified body shell of the current subcompact minivan with the chassis of the new Meriva that is scheduled itself to go on sale in 2010.

A closer look at these pictures reveals that aside from the jacked-up ride height, the prototype also features wider track. Expect to see the Meriva SUV being offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive forms. As for the engine range, the 'soft-roader' will be offered with the same variety of diesel and gasoline units as the standard Meriva including a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol unit with outputs ranging from 120 hp to 140 HP.

The new Meriva SUV will most likely feature a beefed-up look with raised height and the traditional 'off-road' styling cues like muscular wheelarches, heavy body cladding, larger roof rails and unique bumpers that will help to differentiate it from the standard car.

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