The now long-anticipated replacement for the Holden Captiva may have surfaced this week, with a new mid-sized Chevrolet SUV prototype hitting the road overseas.
The new SUV is likely to be the new-generation Chevrolet Captiva, which could also make its way to the US as the downsized new Equinox reported last year.
The model shown here is a right-hand-drive vehicle, although left-hand-drive versions have also appeared in the North American press.
In its current form, the Equinox rides on a 2857mm wheelbase, using a longer version of the GM 'Theta' architecture that underpin the Holden Captiva models. Reports suggest this new shorter variant will use the D2XX platform that holds up the new Cruze and Astra.
Another model that rides on the D2XX base is the new Buick Envision SUV, which, if it ever finds its way into the European market with an Opel badge, could also be a contender for the Holden range.
At 2750mm, the Envision's wheelbase is much shorter than the current Equinox - making it a closer match for the Mazda CX-5's 2700mm footprint - but even this is a step beyond the 2707mm base of the retired Captiva 5.
Above: the Buick Envision may yet make the leap to the Opel range
If Holden does not look to the Envision, or if GM doesn't move to add a European production schedule to its current China-only plan (where it is built in left-hand-drive form for China and now also for North America), the Equinox would appear to be a shoo-in for Australia.
Holden has previously confirmed that around one third of its future line-up will be sourced from Opel, but the rest of its range will carry on with Chevrolet's dual-port grille design - clearly visible on the front of this SUV.
Above: the current Equinox
It can also be assumed that an Australia-bound Chevrolet SUV would be built in South Korea, improving the business case for bringing it to local showrooms.
While it remains to be seen which of these models will come to Australia as Holden's next mid-sized five-seat SUV, there is also talk of the new GMC Arcadia entering as a larger seven-seat rival to models like the Toyota Kluger, Nissan Pathfinder and the brand-new Mazda CX-9.
Above: the GMC Acadia, imagined with a Holden badge
For now, Holden has confirmed only that it will completely overhaul its SUV range by 2020.
With the Captiva models first going on sale here in their current guise (minus a few facelifts) in 2006, both are well due for retirement.
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