Wednesday 18 May 2011

New Car: 2012 Vauxhall/Opel Zafira Tourer

GM Europe has taken the wraps off the upscale Zafira Tourer - which sticks to its concept-car looks – that will premier at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show in Autumn.

While the current Zafira rivals the Ford C-Max and Citroen C4 Picasso, the Zafira Tourer is aim squarely at the Ford Galaxy and Citroen C8. Unlike the smaller Zafira, the new Zafira Tourer underpins GM's Epsilon II architecture, shared with the Opel Insignia/Chevrolet Vectra (in Latin America), Buick Regal/La Crosse, Saab 9-5, Chevrolet Malibu, and Orlando.

Like the Insignia, the new Zafira Tourer arrives with an optional FlexRide adaptive damping that will offer three settings. Inside, the 'Flex' continues with the marque's 7 seats.

Over the regular Zafira, Zafira Tourer has a 57mm longer wheelbase to allow more interior space. With five seats in place, the Zafira Tourer offers 710 litres (65 more than the current Zafira) and rises to 1,860 litres when all rear seats are down.

Lots of technology will be offered like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system, forward collision alert, advanced park assist, and automatic forward lighting. FlexFix, GM's bicycle mounting system hidden in the rear bumper, will also be available.

The Zafira Tourer will be offered with three variants of the 2.0 CDTi common-rail diesel, producing 110bhp (109PS/82kW), 130bhp (128PS/97kW) and 165bhp (163PS/123kW). Petrol units include a 138bhp (136PS/103kW) 1.4 litre turbo and a normally aspirated 1.8 with the same output. Stop-start will also be offered across the engine range. A CNG and LPG variants will also be offer later on in Mainland Europe.

Standard gearbox will be a 6 speed manual, but the larger petrol obtains a 5 speed manual. Orders will be taken before the end of this year.

Press Release:

Vauxhall has confirmed that the Zafira Tourer concept, previewed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, will become a production reality, with first cars in UK showrooms by early 2012.

Called the Zafira Tourer, the new model will sit above the current Zafira model in Vauxhall’s line-up and is set to raise the bar for design, luxury, flexibility and innovation in the MPV sector.

The production car’s design, shown in these first official images, has deviated very little from the Geneva concept, illustrating design-chief, Mark Adams’ continued influence on the look of all new Vauxhall products, and reinforcing his ‘Sculptural artistry meets technical precision’ mantra.

While the Zafira Tourer will continue to use Flex7 seating, which set new standards for seven-seat integration in the original 1999 Zafira, the system has evolved radically in the new car to offer even greater levels of flexibility, innovation and comfort. Improved material quality, more cabin space and an overwhelmingly airy cabin further define the Zafira Tourer from its compact MPV Zafira sibling.

The Zafira Tourer will also hold great driver appeal. A new chassis, using key components from the Insignia, with a longer wheelbase (complementing its 190mm increase in overall length) and wider tracks, will provide outstanding dynamics, while offering occupants more cabin space and ride comfort. Vauxhall’s acclaimed FlexRide adaptive damping system – a rarity in this class – will also be available as an option.

A great emphasis has been placed on safety in the Zafira Tourer, with a plethora of driver-assist systems making a first appearance in the new model. Traffic Sign Recognition, Side Blind Spot Alert and Advance Park Assist – which helps drivers find an adequate parking space and guides them in to it – are among the option highlights.

Two new engines – a 1.4 Turbo petrol and a 2.0 CDTi diesel (with three outputs) – join a 1.8-litre petrol unit to offer a spread of power options from 110PS to 165PS.

The Zafira Tourer will receive its world debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show (Sept. 15-25).

INTERIOR – limousine-like quality and space combined with new levels of flexibility:

Flex7 was a revelation when it was launched in the original 1999 Zafira, offering owners the ability to transform their car from a five- to a seven-seater quickly and simply. While the Zafira Tourer retains the basic concept of Flex7, it’s made significant improvements in the way it functions.

The entire third row can still be folded flush with the floor of the luggage area, but rather than being a bench, the second row now comprises three separate seats that can be folded and moved fore and aft through 210mm, giving third-row passengers the potential of extra room compared with the current Zafira.

Passengers in the second row also benefit from new levels of space and versatility. Thanks to a clever folding mechanism (available on certain models), the back of the middle seat now folds forward and rotates, providing occupants in the outer seats with individual armrests. So configured, the outer seats can move fore and aft through 280mm (+80mm compared with the current Zafira) and also move by 50 millimetres towards the centre of the car, giving passengers improved shoulder and elbow room, and the feeling of limousine-levels of space and comfort.

The Zafira Tourer’s load volumes have also increased over the existing Zafira. In five-seat mode, the luggage area can now hold up to 710 litres (up 65 litres versus current Zafira), and up to 1860 litres (+40 litres) when all rear seats are folded.

FlexConsole, a central storage system running between the front seats (similar to that found in last year’s Meriva), allows occupants to keep the large cabin tidy and ordered. An armrest module, incorporating a stowage cubby, and a cup holder slide and lock into the desired position, giving front passengers greater flexibility while they’re on the move.

For the first time in a Zafira model, a new-generation FlexFix is also available. The integrated bicycle carrier neatly fits into the rear bumper and pulls out like a drawer to accommodate two bikes, without the need for any special fixing tools.

DESIGN – premium and spacious with quality materials and surfacing:

When Vauxhall unveiled the Zafira Tourer concept at Geneva, Mark Adams – Vauxhall/Opel’s Vice President of Design – pronounced it a “lounge on wheels”, combining high degrees of luxury with flexibility and spaciousness.

This principle has been retained for the production car. Its distinctive front end, with strong centre crease and twin-trapezoidal grille, is quite unique on a car in this class. Large, ‘boomerang’ graphics sweep from the top of the headlights to the bottom of the fog lamps and frame the grille. As with other models, the headlights feature Vauxhall’s wing-shaped daytime running light graphic.

The streamlined, aerodynamic design of the Zafira Tourer features a belt line that sweeps upwards and visually propels the vehicle forward, while the Vauxhall ‘blade’ sculpts and adds motion to the body-side.

The wing-shaped graphic from the headlights is repeated on the tail lamps. A horizontal bar carrying the Vauxhall logo extends into the light elements, giving the Zafira Tourer a broad, sporty look at the rear.

Special attention has also been given to the design of the interior, too. Visibility has been improved thanks to a completely re-designed front layout, with slim A-pillars, large side windows and re-positioned door mirrors (now fixed directly to the door panel).

Enhancing the Zafira Tourer’s feeling of airiness still further is an optional Panoramic Windscreen which combines with a generous glass sunroof on certain models.

CHASSIS – improved dynamics and the rare-to-class option of adaptive damping:

Compared with the current Zafira, the Tourer’s wheelbase and tracks have all grown substantially, improving both the ride and stability of the car. The wheelbase is now 2760mm (+57mm), while the tracks are 1584mm at the front (+96mm) and 1588mm in the rear (+78mm).

The Zafira Tourer takes its front axle from the European Car of the Year-winning Insignia, which means an isolated sub-frame and MacPherson struts. At the rear, the Tourer retains a compound crank rear axle (similar to the current Zafira’s) but adds a Watt’s link, making it a unique set-up in the MPV class. The compound crank/Watt’s link combination suits this type of vehicle well, offering excellent space efficiency, light weight and high levels of stability/control.

Enhancing the base chassis’ dynamic prowess will be the option of Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive damping system, a rarity in the MPV class. FlexRide automatically adapts the car’s damping to suit road conditions, cornering speed, vehicle movements and an individual’s driving style. In addition, drivers can select from a choice of three settings – Standard, Tour and Sport – to provide more ride comfort or body control on a continual basis.

SAFETY – intelligent safety systems add to driver appeal:

A raft of innovative driver assistance systems have been built into the Zafira Tourer or are optional on certain models.

■An all-new, radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Collision Mitigating Braking (CMB) constantly monitors the distance to the vehicles ahead and reduces vehicle speed or, in extreme cases, applies emergency braking to prevent a collision

■A front camera system, featuring Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). The camera also supports...

■Following Distance Indication (FDI) – visually informs the driver about the distance to the vehicle in front

■Forward Collision Alert (FCA) – warns driver via visual and acoustic signals about an imminent collision with the vehicle ahead

In addition, the Zafira Tourer can be equipped with the following technologies:

■Intelligent Light Ranging (ILR) – an additional function to the existing Automatic Forward Lighting + option. A laser-controlled system continually adjusts the light pattern to the distance from the vehicle ahead, optimising illumination without blinding other traffic.

■Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA) – warns driver of imminent collision when changing lanes

■Advanced Park Assist (APA) – helps drivers to find an adequate space to park and then guides them into it. Also available with rear-view camera.

POWERTRAINS – new petrol and diesel engines join Zafira Tourer range:

The Zafira Tourer’s diesel engine range will comprise three versions of Vauxhall’s Euro-5 compliant 2.0CDTi common rail unit, also found in the Insignia and Astra. Power outputs start with a choice of either 110PS or 130PS, while the most powerful engine has been upgraded to produce 165PS.

The petrol range comprises a downsized 1.4 Turbo unit, producing 140PS, and a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre with 140PS. Availability of Start/Stop on certain petrol and diesel engines will be revealed later in the year.

Six-speed manual transmissions will be standard with all 1.4T and 2.0 CDTi engines, with the option of a six-speed automatic on certain models. A five-speed manual ‘box is available with the 1.8-litre petrol model.


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