• May 11, 2006
Considering that the recently unveiled production version of the Opel Antara will likely become the next Saturn Vue sometime between 2008 and 2009, we thought you might want to see it from all angles, including the interior. You can check out the specs in our post from yesterday, or check out GM Europe's full press release after the jump along with a few more official pics.

[Source: GM Europe]

New Opel Antara Targets European Growth Market

·               Elegant, dynamic crossover will be launched by end of 2006
·               Powerful diesel and gasoline variants; top-of-the-line 3.2 V6 with 224 hp
·               Intelligent four-wheel drive with electro-hydraulic differential
·               Prices start at 26,850 euro
 
Rüsselsheim.  Following the enthusiastic reaction to the Antara GTC crossover concept car at the IAA 2005, Opel launches this year the five-door production version of the new Antara. "With the new Antara, we are entering one of the fastest-growing segments in Europe. It is a technically sophisticated vehicle with a unibody construction which combines dynamic design with intelligent four-wheel drive, high levels of functionality and a higher seat position – tailor-made for a growing customer base," says Opel Managing Director, Hans Demant. The total share of the combined SUV and crossover market in Europe has doubled since 1998, from three to six percent, with continued growth expected.
 
"When we presented the Antara GTC concept car last September at the IAA in Frankfurt, it immediately became the star of the show," says Alain Visser, Executive Director, European Marketing, Adam Opel GmbH. "Now the production version is ready. It realizes our high ambitions in the growing crossover market, as it takes the coupé-like sporty character of the three-door Antara GTC concept, and transforms it into a dynamic, elegantly designed five-door series-production model, with five seats and remarkable interior versatility." Prices for the new Antara - with 2.4-liter-gasoline engine - will start at 26,850 euro. "That is a very modest price for such a high-value crossover," adds Visser. While the opening of the GM Europe Design Center in Rüsselsheim today provides the first opportunity to see the new model, the Antara will make its public world premiere at the Mondial de l´ Automobile in Paris (September 30 – October 15, 2006).
 
The special character of the Antara design is spotlighted by bold contrasts. The lower section looks very robust, and the body features bold lines and taut surfaces that combine to give a sporty muscular appearance with stylish elegance. The designers visualized a versatile car, that is both dynamic and comfortable for long journeys. Carefully crafted details such as the crease on the hood and the grille accented by the wide chrome bar with large Opel logo confidently emphasize the car's high quality and brand identity.
 
High ground clearance, large wheels and robust protective elements all round are defining characteristics of the new Antara, as are its compact dimensions (length x width x height: 4.57 x 1.85 x 1.70 meters). It takes up no more space than a mid-size passenger car, while at the same time offering ample interior room. The interior echoes the style and elegance of a top-of-the-line sedan, with sporty contoured seats that highlight its dynamic SUV character. In characteristic Opel style, all instruments and operating controls are ergonomically placed and arranged. The large, well-designed instruments and center console with central info display give the cockpit a driver-oriented layout. On board are innovative infotainment systems familiar from other Opel models, including DVD navigation and Bluetooth functionality.
 
Initially, three transversally-mounted engines are available for the Antara, all of which have four valves per cylinder. The top-of-the-line unit is closely related to the six-cylinder engines of the Vectra and Signum models. The Antara's V6 gasoline engine has 3.2-liter displacement, output of 165 kW/224 hp, and comes with an automatic transmission with ActiveSelect function. Opel expects the 110 kW/150 hp, 2.0-liter common-rail turbo-diesel to be the top seller. It is available with a five-speed manual gearbox, or with the same automatic transmission as the V6 engine. The entry-level engine is a 2.4-liter, 104 kW/141 hp, four-cylinder gasoline unit with two overhead camshafts and one balance shaft.
 
The Antara's intelligent active four-wheel drive system combines the benefits of front-wheel drive - such as tractional stability when accelerating and increased driving dynamics - with those of permanent four-wheel drive. It features an electronically controlled electro-hydraulic differential which ensures optimal torque distribution between the front and rear axles in all situations. The drivetrain is fully integrated in the ABS and ESP systems, enhancing vehicle control and active safety.
 
Other standard functions include Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Active Rollover Protection (ARP), and (unusually for the Antara´s segment) Descent Control System (DCS). DCS enables the Antara to be driven safely on steep slopes at a constant speed, which is pre-selected by the position of the gas pedal. Trailer Stabilization Assist (TSA) is available as an option. The McPherson suspension in front and a four-link suspension in the rear provide a high-quality chassis concept similar to that in the Opel Vectra and Signum models. The braking system comprises large-sized ventilated disc brakes on all wheels.
 
Opel is now staking a claim as leader among volume manufacturer in the midsize crossover market, which has been mostly dominated by non-European brands until now. Thanks to the synergy-effects of GM's worldwide development capacity, a vehicle has been created with an unmistakably unique brand character, distinguished by its sporty design, high-quality interior and dynamic chassis settings.


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  • 16 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      That Theta truck was called Chevy S3X!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree. Is it really that hard to keep the bulging wheel flares or some of the other agressive styling of the 2 door? I mean it's not bad looking, it just isn't exciting anymore.
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ Peter L.:

      The interior of the production version is the very same you see in the fourth picture (from the top of the article).

      Given, the photo probably shows the deluxe version with wood trim and all electronic marvels, but the basic architecture (gauges etc.) is the same for every model.

      So go ahead, place your order ;-)
      • 8 Years Ago
      EURASIAN-FLOOD:

      FOR ANYONE WHO'S BEEN EAGERLY WAITING FOR GM'S HIGHLY DEVELOPED EURO PRODUCTS TO FINALLY REACH THE STATES, THE GESTATION PERIOD IS OVER. THE TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY IS NEARLY COMPLETE, AND MANY OF THESE NEW VEHICLES ARE ALREADY BEING MANUFACTURED HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER TO CUT COSTS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE; ALL THE WHILE MAINTAINING SUPERIOR BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN INTEGRITY. EVEN OPEL'S ECOTECH POWERPLANTS ARE BEING PRODUCED HERE, NOW. YOU CAN FIND THEM IN THE CHEVROLET MALIBU, THE PONTIAC SOLSTICE AND SOLSTICE GXP, SATURN SKY AND SKY REDLINE, AND THE NEW AURA SEDANS. JUST SAUNTER ON DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL PONTIAC OR SATURN DEALER, AND YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF HIP DEEP IN EXCITING PRODUCTS THAT ORIGINATED IN EUROPE. AND IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE THE FLOODGATES ARE THROWN WIDE OPEN. THERE ARE ALL MANNER OF COUPES, SEDANS, HARDTOP CONVERTIBLES, HATCHBACKS AND MPVS JUST WAITING TO MAKE THE JUMP.

      BUT DON'T EXPECT THE GENERAL TO LIMIT ITSELF TO IN-HOUSE TECHNOLOGY ALONE. EVEN THE CURRENT SATURN VUE REDLINE COMES WITH AN AVAILABLE HONDA-SOURCED, 250 HP V6 ENGINE/AUTO TRANNY, ALL-WHEEL DRIVE PACKAGE THAT DRAMATICALLY TRANSFORMS A FAIRLY RUDIMENTARY GROCERY GETTER INTO A HIGHLY AFFORDABLE BUT SERIOUS PERFORMANCE MACHINE. AND THE STYLISTS HAVEN'T CUT CORNERS EITHER, PROVIDING THE VUE REDLINE WITH A LOW, HUNKERED APPEARANCE; WITH MEATY, AGGRESSIVE TIRES, A DEEP CHIN SPOILER, SIDE SKIRTS, AND FLASHY ALLOY WHEELS. IT ALL COMES TOGETHER IN A COHESSIVE AND UNDERSTATED BUT UNMISTAKABLE EXPRESSION OF WELL TONED MUSCLE; IT'S ALREADY OUT THERE IN THE MARKETPLACE, JUST WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED.

      OH, AND JUST IN CASE YOU HAPPEN TO FIND THE NEW OPEL ANTARA CUV PARTICULARLY FETCHING, I'VE GOT SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS. WHILE IT MAY BE SOLD AS AN OPEL IN EUROPE, ON THIS SIDE OF THE POND, IT WILL BE CALLED THE 2008 SATURN VUE. THAT MEANS THAT IT WILL BE ARRIVING IN DEALERSHIPS SOMETIME IN CALENDAR YEAR 2007. AND MY GUESS IS THAT THE SAME MENUE OF POWERTRAINS WILL STILL BE OFFERED, ALONG WITH THE GREENLINE, WITH SOME KIND OF HIGHLY REFINED DIESEL ALSO BEING ADDED TO THE MIX. BUT THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING. THE REALLY GOOD STUFF IS STILL WAITING IN THE WINGS; READY AND EAGER TO GO NOSE-TO-NOSE WITH THE BEST THAT THE TRANSASIAN CROWD HAS TO OFFER. I'M DAN SMITH
      • 8 Years Ago
      "industry-strength blandness" unlike what other mainstream automaker?

      a CRV? booorring.
      a highlander? superbland.
      RAV4? snore.
      Escape? non-inspring.

      That thing has more character than all those other good sellers combined.

      Maybe GM and other automakers should stop making concept cars, so people like Mark F would quit crying.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It absolutely sickens me to see what they've done to the original concept. I would have bought one of those based on the photos alone without even a test drive. This boring POS is just another soccer mom, grocery hauler. And, speaking only for myself, I've been waiting for a two door SUV for a long time; some of us don't need or want four doors. I thought the Antara was the answer. Oh-Well...I'm sure someone will buy them. There are lots of soccer leagues and ballet practices to get to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nobody buys 2-door SUVs, fellas. Remember the 2-door Cherokee, Exploder, Navajo, Rodeo, Vehi-Cross, Tracker. Only the old S10 Blazer continued for a long time, mostly to keep the plant open more than anything.

      Two-doors in general are hard to sell in any volume, and automatically some people won't consider one for a new vehicle. It's not like the recently-old days, when every one drove a Cutlass Supreme or Monte Carlo or Grand Prix or Thunderbird and didn't mind contorting into the back seat. Of course, we were all thinner back then too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why is this truck so KIA-like AFTER that great looking
      Theta truck that looked like a BMW X5 from a year and a half ago (I forgot it's name)? And AFTER the rich look of the concept? This should have had more shoulder, and just a little more fender flare to keep the look EXPENSIVE. All the current OPELs look expensive but this looks so cheap. I'm sorry but I would let Lutz go. He has no idea how to make cars look
      more expensive than they are because he came from a long stint at 90s Chrysler, which made futuristic but cheap bullsh**. Come on GM!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very pretty car. My only question is why did it take so long? I should have been able to buy this 4 years ago. I could use a new SUV and I'd love to buy GM but I don't want to wait another 2 years while they get this thing sorted out.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The original concept did look better.

      But, truth be told, no one would buy a 2 door SUV. I had a two door truck, and it drove me nuts.

      I like the front of the new 'Vue' but am not crazy about the back. Looks too much like a Kia?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The original Vue had unique Lego-block styling that I thought worked quite well. They screwed it up with the recent restyle, turning the clean front fascia into an ugly sneer with a little French mustache.

      The uniqueness of the current Vue's styling is gone with this next model. It looks like a Hyundai. A world car in the true sense, it is designed in Korea (which is why it looks like a Hyundai), and will be built in Mexico with Korean and Chinese parts. There is nothing remotely American about this Saturn at all. This car is a poster child of what the domestic manufacturers are coming to...importing vehicles designed, engineered, and produced abroad, disguised as "domestic" vehicles (see Ford Fusion for more proof). Worse than the loss of American manufacturing jobs (somewhat understandable due to cost pressures) is the loss of confidence in the American designers and engineers, who took absolutely no part in the development of this vehicle. I guess the incompetence of the designers and engineers was proven with the Saturn Ion, probably the last American small car GM will ever do.

      Oh well...I do like the Opel-based products, and the Outlook looks to be a hit for GM. But GM is once again destroying any image or concept that the public ever had of one of its brands, and pretending that it doesn't matter. Saturn was once the American small car company, which started on the premise that Americans could build and market decent small vehicles. Well, I guess we can't, because now Saturn is an import branch of GM, with the exception of the Outlook and Sky, which should probably be Chevrolets so at least there is some consistency amongst GM's marketing clusterf*&k.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A tale of two SUV's. Whereas the 2-door concept had a very muscular, athletic and aggressive look to it, the production 4-door looks like any other milqtoast Kia/Hyundai product on the road today. Too bad....
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