Opel released the first images of the new Mokka today in the lead-up the small soft-roader’s unveiling at the 2012 Geneva motor show on March 6.
The Opel Mokka will go on sale in overseas markets towards the end of this year (it will be sold in the UK as a Vauxhall), but Opel Australia spokeswoman Michelle Lang said it would not be part of the brand’s launch range.
Set to arrive in Australia in just over six months’ time, Opel Australia’s initial line-up will include the Corsa city car, Astra small car and Insignia medium car.
Lang said the brand had a number of plans in place to add to its local line-up and was optimistic about its chances of launching the Mokka in Australia. At this stage it unclear when the Mokka could arrive in Australia, with a launch before 2014 seemingly optimistic.
The Mokka will almost certainly become the first SUV in Opel’s Australian range, and Lang admitted the popularity of that market in Australia – particularly the compact SUV segment, which accounted for 12 per cent of the total new-vehicle market in 2011 – was the reason for the brand’s keen pursuit of the car.
At 4.28m long, the Mokka is a similar size to the Mitsubishi ASX and the recently revealed Ford EcoSport, which will go on sale in Australia in 2013. The Mokka will become the smallest SUV in Opel’s international line-up, sitting below the Antara (sold as the Holden Captiva 5 in Australia).
Two petrol engines and one diesel will be offered from launch, each one equipped with start-stop technology for improved urban fuel economy. An 85kW/155Nm 1.6-litre petrol unit will be used at the lower end of the line-up, while a 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol (currently available in the Holden Cruze) and a 96kW/300Nm 1.7-litre diesel will power more expensive models. Both front- and all-wheel drive variants will available.
The Mokka will feature a number of driver assist systems that draw on the car’s front-mounted ‘Opel Eye’ camera (potentially including lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition). A reversing camera, advanced adaptive forward lighting and bi-xenon headlights with high-beam assist will also be available depending on the market and variant.
Opel says the sub-compact Mokka will be versatile, with a maximum cargo space of 1372 litres (with the rear seats folded down) and 19 storage spots, including a draw that can store three Flex-Fix bicycles.
Despite not offering an SUV below the Captiva 5, Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale said the brand would not sell a rebadged version of a car that was in Opel Australia’s range, effectively ruling out a Holden version of the Mokka. “It wouldn’t make sense,” Lonsdale said.
She said the two brands – both part of the larger General Motors family – were taking a “holistic” approach in deciding which brand introduced models to Australia, and admitted that was largely determined by the vehicle’s position in the market.
“There’s not necessarily competition [between the two brands]. We look at certain vehicles together. Some will fit Opel and some will fit Holden.
“There’s not too much argument over who gets what.”
Lonsdale said Holden was focusing on its Captiva SUVs in 2012 as well as the ute-based Colorado 7, the launch of which appears likely to push out to early 2013, due in part to supply restrictions stemming from the Thailand floods.
Expect more details on the Opel Mokka in the lead-up to the Geneva motor show.