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Geneva show: Opel unveils Mokka mini-SUV

Wish list: Opel Australia is keen to bring the Mokka crossover Down Under to widen its local footprint.

German brand Opel rips the covers from all-new sub-compact SUV ahead of 2012 launch

11 Jan 2012

OPEL has revealed its all-new Mokka ‘sub-compact’ SUV model two months out from its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March – and it may come to Australia next year.

Named after a variety of Arabica coffee bean, the Mokka is about the same size as a Skoda Yeti or Nissan Dualis and will hit European showrooms by the end of this year.

The Opel brand will launch in Australia later this year – with the Corsa light car, Astra small car and Insignia medium car – and, while the Mokka won’t be available in time to be part of its initial model line-up, it is a strong chance to arrive here in 2013.

Michelle Lang, the marketing and public relations manager of the brand’s Australian arm, told GoAuto today that the car was of strong interest, but could not confirm it for the local market.

Should it go on sale here, it would allow the General Motors brand to go head-to-head with the similar Ford EcoSport crossover that was unveiled at the Delhi motor show last week (see separate story linked below).

Mokka will be available in Europe with a choice of three engines – an 85kW 1.6-litre petrol, a 103kW/200Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol (shared with the Holden Cruze and Opel’s own Astra) and a 93kW/300Nm 1.7-litre turbo-diesel.

52 center imageLeft: Opel Mokka. Below: Buick Encore.

The latter two engines are available with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, with all manual models equipped with a fuel-saving idle-stop system.

The Mokka range will also offer front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, though the AWD version only engages the rear wheels when the going gets slippery.

Relatively generous ground clearance and wide 1540mm tracks are provided for driving over moderate terrain such as gravel roads.

At 4280mm long, Mokka is about the same size as Dualis and Yeti, and about 150mm shy of smaller members of the compact SUV segment like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage.

The Mokka’s loading area can be folded to accommodate up to 1372 litres of space and the brand promises a number of clever storage solutions including up to 19 cubby holes and a Flex-Fix system that can hold up to three bicycles on a slide-out floor at the rear.

Standard safety features include ESC, hill-start assist and hill-descent control, lane departure warning and a claimed segment-first traffic sign recognition system operated via a camera.

Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke said the car “takes its strengths from traditional, larger SUVs and fits them into a modern compact format”.

“The Mokka extends Opel’s vehicle line and continues the momentum we’ve built up over the last few years with our strong product offensive,” he said.

“It also energises the new SUV B-segment that is predicted to grow considerably over the next years.”

Mokka will also go on-sale in the US from early next year as the Buick Encore, positioned against premium players like the BMW Q1 and Audi A3.

The General Motors subsidiary – positioned between mainstream brand Chevrolet and luxury arm Cadillac – showed the Encore for the first time at the Detroit motor show this week.

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