Opel Meriva Concept, more room for emotion

/, CONCEPT/Opel Meriva Concept, more room for emotion

Small minivans are not the most successful of typical versatile European concepts. Except for the Opel and Vauxhall Meriva, the segment leader for years. So creating a successor is a great challenge, an obligation to the current model’s success. But during the last Geneva Motor Show General Motors Europe presented a concept that is more than a make-over of the running Meriva. While keeping up with the practicality of today’s Meriva, the concept adds functionality and fresh design beyond innovative rear-door flexibility.

Unlike the current Meriva, which was in part conceived in Brazil, the concept project is totally European. It still sits on a wheelbase of 264cm, 1cm longer than today’s Meriva, but it measures 422cm overall length instead of 405cm, with additional width of 176cm (+ 6.5cm) but slightly lower at 160cm (- 2.5cm). In particular the wider track front and rear of 156 and 158.4cm (+11cm resp. +12cm) enhance the Meriva concept’s more robust stance.

The design of the Meriva concept (built by G-Studio in Turin) was the work of Andrew Dyson and his team, chief designer advanced design of GM Europe, under the guidance of Anthony Lo. And the mission was clear: build on the success of functionality and versatility of the current model but add emotion. With a new GM Europe design language already defined and implemented on the new Insignia upper-medium model, Dyson was able to follow this strategy for the Meriva concept.

“The original Meriva was rational. Now we wanted a more sculptural body shape and slightly more space. But we had to be realistic and take into account new safety regulations. So limiting front overhang was a challenge, in particular the flow of the A-pillar forward, because we wanted to maintain the mono volume principles”, Dyson said.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 171

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By | 2015-12-21T09:37:01+00:00 20 August 2008|ARCHIVE, CONCEPT|
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