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First look: Antara shows SUV can be sexy

Cool crossover: Antara could be sold alongside Holden's forthcoming Captiva and T2X-based SUV.

GM Opel reveals its production Antara and the new premium SUV could become a Holden

12 May 2006

HOLDEN has refused to rule out the possibility of Opel's sexy new Antara crossover, revealed this week in final production trim ahead of its public debut at Paris in September, joining its range at some stage Down Under.

While the GM Daewoo-developed Captiva seven-seat SUV will form the basis of Holden's SUV fightback in the Ford Territory-dominated medium SUV class here, Fishermens Bend admits it's investigating two all-new SUVs to bookend the crossover that's likely to replace the unpopular Adventra this year.

At the compact end is a smaller sibling for the sub-$40,000 Captiva: the T2X concept that graced Holden's stand at the Melbourne motor show in March and which could eventually become Holden's answer to the low-$30,000 small SUVs like Toyota's RAV4.

At the other end is Opel's Antara, which is closer in size to Captiva than T2X and could for the first time give Holden a more expensive premium SUV rival for the likes of BMW's X5.

13 center image "It (Antara) certainly offers us another (SUV) option," Holden spokesman Jason Laird told GoAuto. "The premium coupe-SUV style of vehicle certainly presents us with another opportunity.

"The benefit of being a global company is that we have many options when it comes to new models. But at this stage only Captiva is confirmed for Australia," he cautioned.

First seen as the three-door Antara GTC concept at last September's Frankfurt motor show, GM's European affiliate appears to have blunted little of the premium SUV's crisp, edgy attraction in its mutation from concept to (five-door) reality.

Antara is aimed directly at Europe's crossover/SUV market, which has doubled from three to six per cent since 1998 and the entry-level version is powered by a 104kW 2.4-litre petrol engine in Europe, where base pricing has been set at 26,850 euro ($A44,500).

While a 165kW 3.2-litre V6 will also be offered in Europe, Opel expects the 110kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to be the top-seller.

Antara features an electro-hydraulic differential, ABS and ESP systems to split torque, and measures 4570 long, 1850mm wide and a squat 1700mm high - making it about the same size as a medium sedan.

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