Mike Stevens | Aug 19, 2011

GM's European prestige brand Opel is working to expand its line-up, with GM Europe President Nick Reilly confirming a trio of new models over the next three years.

Speaking with industry paper Automotive News Europe, Reilly confirmed plans for an assault on the rapidly growing city-car segment, along with a new small SUV and the return of the Calibra coupe.

 

'Junior' City Car

Reilly said that the motivation for Opel's city car has come not only from the segment's popularity in Europe, but also from his time as CEO of GM Daewoo in Korea, where small cars are big sellers.

"We learned quite a lot in Korea where they actually make money in small cars. We're not interested in putting a small car out just to grow market share," Reilly told Automotive News.

Above: the 2004 Opel Trixx concept
Above: the 2004 Opel Trixx concept

Known internally as Junior, the new model will be aimed a little higher than the average budget-focused city car.

"People who care about the status of their car, what it can do, what features it has, what telematics it has. It will have a more premium price for its segment," he said.

Reilly said that the Junior will make its global debut at next year's Paris auto show, "or even earlier".

 

Small SUV

2010 nissan dualis series ii australia road test review press photos 05

Another rapidly growing market is the small or compact SUV segment, dominated in Europe by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai (Dualis in Australia).

Unlike the Qashqai, which is available in five-seat and seven-seat bodies, Opel's small SUV will initially stick with a five-seat layout. Reilly added however that a seven-seater has not been ruled out for down the track.

Interestingly, Opel's small SUV will utilise a version of the Corsa light-car platform (sold in earlier versions as the Barina in Australia), rather than the Astra small-car platform.

Reilly made no mention of launch dates for the small SUV.

 

Calibra Coupe, Cabriolet

The Calibra, sold briefly in Australia with a Holden badge, will make a comeback in 2013 - along with a cabriolet version.

"We've let our designers and stylists off the leash. It looks pretty good, it's not a chopped-off sedan. It's specifically designed and it looks great," GM Europe CEO Nick Reilly said.

Based on a stretched version of the Astra platform, the new Calibra will likely retain its front-wheel-drive layout.

Little else was revealed, although an insider has reportedly pointed to the new BMW 6 Series as one of the coupe's inspirations.

 

Opel at 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

Opel has also confirmed that it will reveal a new concept study at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Details are thin on the ground, although Opel says the concept will showcase "a new interpretation of driving fun, emphasising the company's passion for driver-focused vehicles."

The concept will join Opel's sport new Astra GTC performance hatch, along with the larger Zafira seven-seat people mover.

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