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Geneva show: Vauxhall's suicidal Meriva

Not coming: Opel's new Meriva is unlikely to be sold in Australia.

GM's European affiliate reveals its next-gen Meriva, complete with suicide doors

7 Mar 2008

MOST of the talk on the General Motors stand at Geneva was about the ‘suicide doors’ on the Meriva concept – and how GM executives were stating quite clearly that they will make it to production.

Opel/Vauxhall execs said the Meriva’s rear-opening back doors not only improve access to the back seats but also offer safety benefits, even though they can be opened independent of the front doors (unlike the Mazda RX-8 and Mini Clubman).

Unusually, the Meriva Concept has a regular B-pillar to improve crash protection so rear seat passengers can get in and out without the front doors having to be opened first.

52 center imageThe doors can be opened up to 90 degrees, making it easier to get in and out of the back seat, and for getting kids into their child seats, said the company.

The concept car looks almost production-ready and is expected to replace the existing Meriva baby MPV that is built in Brazil and Spain, probably by the end of 2009.

With design elements flagged in the recent GTC Coupe and Flextreme concepts, the Meriva features a distinctive Citroen-style “wave” along the window line that gives the vehicle an upswept look without losing window space for the rear passengers.

Given the demise of the Zafira in Australia, the Meriva is unlikely to come to Australia.

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