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by Tim Beissmann

The introduction of a second General Motors brand in Australia sees the return of the Astra nameplate, and a relaunch of Opel’s city car, the Corsa, which was sold by sister brand Holden as the Barina last decade. Along with its three initial launch cars (Insignia being the third), Opel Australia is also considering a number of other cars for its second wave of product launches. The three-door Astra GTC, the Meriva compact MPV, the Zafira Tourer people mover, and the high-performance OPC models are all on the table, although unlikely to reach our market before 2013. Opel Australia will arrive in the third quarter of 2012 with more than 10 dealerships planned across the country.

 

OPEL CORSA

Vehicle type: Light car. Timing: Q3

The fourth-generation Corsa is the successor to the vehicle previously sold in Australia as the Holden XC Barina. Although brand new to Australia, the Corsa D (as it is known) has been available in Europe since 2006. It will come to Australia in three- and five-door hatchback body styles, and should be priced to compete with the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and the Mazda2 (approximately $16,000-$24,000). Powered by a naturally aspirated 74kW/130Nm 1.4-litre petrol engine and teamed with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, the Corsa should return combined cycle fuel consumption of around 6.0-6.5 litres per 100km.

 

OPEL ASTRA

Vehicle type: Small car. Timing: Q3

The popular Astra nameplate returns to Australia in 2012 in five-door hatch and Sports Tourer wagon body styles. The fully turbocharged powertrain range will comprise a 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre petrol (known as the 1.4 iTi in the Holden Cruze), a 132kW/230Nm 1.6-litre petrol and a 121kW/350Nm 2.0-litre diesel. Combined cycle fuel consumption should range between 5.5L/100km and 7.0L/100km under Australian standards. Expect prices to mirror the Volkswagen Golf’s, starting in the low-$20,000s and peaking around the mid-$30,000s.

 

OPEL INSIGNIA

Vehicle type: Medium car. Timing: Q3

The medium-large Insignia is heading to Australia in four-door sedan and Sports Tourer wagon body styles. It will go head-to-head with the Ford Mondeo, Mazda6, and Hyundai’s i40/i45 duo, with prices expected start in the low-$30,000s to the mid-$40,000. The stylish Insignia is also certain to steal sales from the similarly sized locally built Holden Commodore. Powering the Insignia will be a 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 118kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel. The petrol will be one of the more powerful medium cars in Australia while diesel promises to use fuel at around 6.5L/100km combined.




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