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Vauxhall's SUV plans revealed

By raccars Published

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Vauxhall is intent on unleashing a trio of brand new SUVs on the market within the next five years, according to industry sources.

SUVs have garnered a substantial following in the UK in recent years, with many motorists shunning traditional hatchbacks, saloons and estates in favour of stylish and practical models from this category. And most manufacturers have cottoned on to this trend, meaning that buyers are already spoilt for choice. Now car industry insiders have outlined new plans from Vauxhall which will see three new SUVs arrive by 2020, catering to various market segments, according to AutoCar.

While details of a top tier Vauxhall SUV based upon the updated Insignia platform were already in the open, the latest rumours show that the firm’s line up will become four strong, with the current Mokka range being joined by three alternatives. And the first of the bunch, a compact crossover which is likely to be based on the same platform as an as yet unannounced equivalent from Peugeot, could arrive as early as next year.

In 2017 a mid-tier SUV crossover will arrive to join it, enabling Vauxhall to retire the current Zafira and to launch a new model in its place in the hopes that it will appeal to modern audiences. Then in 2019 the larger SUV from Vauxhall will arrive, following in the wake of the expected 2018 launch of the new Insignia saloon.

Big ambitions

The largest of the new SUVs, which will also be the last to arrive, is part of the £189 million project to replace the Insignia that was previously announced by Vauxhall. It will have a longer wheelbase than the current model, while also being significantly lighter in spite of this added length. This is rumoured to be a design choice that reflects the need to improve handling in real world conditions, which should benefit the driving experience offered by the flagship SUV.

The styling of this model is currently a mystery and will remain so for some time, until it has been finalised and approved by Vauxhall. But it is thought that the firm is keen to differentiate its large SUV from other models already on the market by taking the aesthetics in a bold direction. The dynamic look and imposing road presence of the Range Rover Evoque is said to be an inspiration to this end. In short, it could look more like a coupe than a traditional off-roader.

In terms of performance, Vauxhall will be making a 4WD version of the flagship SUV available while harnessing a range of petrol and diesel engines pulled from other models. A seven seater version will clearly be on the cards, facilitated in part by the increase to the wheelbase length. So legroom for passengers may be better here than ever before.

Making SUV ownership more cost effective

Observers have suggested that one of the key areas in which Vauxhall is hoping to benefit with the launch of three new SUVs is from sales at the upper end of the market. The new full sized model is likely to be positioned as offering owners better value for money than other premium competitors. This cost effectiveness will not only be related to its showroom asking price, but also to its on-going running costs.

Vauxhall has a plan to make its new SUVs serious contenders in key market segments between now and 2020. Although of course its rivals will also be bringing new crossovers into the sector in the interim, ensuring that buyers will benefit from an ever-widening range of SUV models from which to choose.

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