Meet the new Opel Zafira Tourer, which was revealed today in its final production form before a global premiere at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany this fall. General Motors’ European division had previewed its new range-topping people carrier as a concept model at the Geneva Salon this past March.
The Zafira nameplate was first launched onto the market in 1999 with Opel having introduced a second-generation model in 2005. Now in its third iteration, the new Zafira will attempt to expand its customer base by adding a more impressive design and a more premium feel to the mix of qualities that are typical of the minivan segment.
“The Zafira is Opel’s flexibility icon, and we wanted to bring more emotion and premium qualities into its third generation,” says Mark Adams, Vice President, Opel/Vauxhall Design. “The Opel Zafira Tourer makes a statement with its sleek, sporty look and premium feel.”
Surprisingly, the Zafira has remained faithful to the original concept’s exterior design, while also keeping close to the look of the automaker’s existing range. The streamlined shape is highlighted by the front end that features distinctive twin “boomerang” graphics sweeping from the headlights to the fog lamps and Opel’s typical “blade” sculpts on the body sides.
The interior mimics the styling of the concept model mixed with bits and pieces found on other Opel models such as the latest Astra. To improve the interior ambience, the Germans have added new color and trim options while also offering an available panorama windscreen that flows into a glass sunroof that extends all the way to the back of the vehicle.
Opel’s trademark Flex7 seating system has been improved on the new Zafira as it gains three independent seats in the middle row that can be folded flat and moved separately of each other sliding longitudinally by up to 210 mm. Furthermore, there’s an available Lounge Seating system, which allows the back of the middle seat in the second row to fold down and rotate to offer armrests for the passengers in the outer seats.
According to the company, the Zafira Tourer offers 710 liters load volume in a five-seat configuration, or 65 liters more than the current model, and up to 1,860 liters (+40 liters) when the two rear rows of seats are folded down.
The 2012 Zafira rides on a new platform with an increased wheelbase and tracks. The wheelbase is now 2,760 mm (+ 57 mm), while the front and rear tracks measure 1,584 mm (+ 96 mm) and 1,588 (+ 78 mm) respectively.
When it goes on sale in Europe towards the end of the year, the new Zafira will offer buyers three versions of Opel’s 2.0-liter CDTI common-rail turbo diesel engine with 110HP, 130HP and 165HP, along with two 1.4-liter ECOTEC turbocharged gasoline engines delivering 120HP and 140HP. All engines will be offered with the German firm’s Start/Stop technology.
Opel said that soon after the market launch, it will expand the range with more fuel-efficient ecoFLEX model as well as variants powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). The company added that a few months later it will introduce more engines including a brand new gasoline unit.
The presentation of the new Zafira does not translate to the end of production for the current model as Opel has decided to continue selling the second generation MPV alongside its replacement as a more affordable proposal in the compact minivan segment.