One of the new concept vehicles that General Motors will debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show next month previews where GM might be headed with its Opel Meriva compact MPV. The current Meriva is a tall wagon based on Opel's B-car Corsa platform. Like the larger Zafira, the Meriva is a one-box shape and the new concept will follow that same path. The new concept picks up the design language introduced on last year's Opel GTC and Flextreme concepts (note that pronounced "hockey stick" line arcing down and back from the front fender). Perhaps as the United States' impending new CAFE regs take hold, GM will come around and start offering stylish, compact, family-oriented alternatives like the Meriva in Saturn showrooms, instead of relying on lesser variations of products already available from brand siblings like Chevy.
Meriva Concept: Vision Of Future Small Opel Monocab
Concept world premiere at Geneva Motor Show
Rüsselsheim. With the Meriva Concept, Opel presents the next level of monocab flexibility at the International Motor Show in Geneva (March 6 – 16, 2008). The vision of a future small monocab – a segment that the current Meriva has led since its launch in 2003 –boasts more than just new design cues: "We're unveiling an innovative approach for even greater flexibility in Opel monocabs," says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer, GM Europe, before the concept's debut in Geneva. "With the Zafira's Flex7 seating system and the Meriva's FlexSpace concept, we began a new era in interior variability and permanently changed the world of the automobile." With Zafira, Meriva and soon Agila, Opel is enjoying great success with its monocab design – body models where the hood and trunk are not visibly separate from the cabin. Almost 335,000 segment-leading Zafira and Meriva models were sold in 2007. Every fifth Opel model sold today is a monocab, while in the whole market the quota is just every eighth car.
The Meriva Concept transfers the brand's new design language to a small monocab and enhances it further. The side profile boasts the distinctive tick-shaped swage line, which was a typical design cue which appeared on the GTC Coupé and Flextreme concepts. Especially eye-catching is the sweep in the window line level at the B-pillar, enabling an especially good view for rear passengers. Rear section elements – in particular the rear lights – echo the Insignia, Opel's new mid-size class car due to be launched in the fall. The monocab's roof sloping gently downward toward the rear underlines the car's dynamic character.