Vauxhall/Opel Meriva (2010): the spy photos

Published: 09 June 2008

Vauxhall and sister brand Opel are readying a concept-style flourish for its next Meriva – it'll have suicide doors, just like the 2008 show car. Until recently, flash doors were the preserve of pricey models like the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mazda RX-8, but they're now trickling down to the B-car segment with novelties such as the Meriva and Mini Clubman.

The 2010 Meriva's back doors are rear-hinged, opening to ease ingress and exit. Expect a grab handle to be built into the B-pillar, for younger passengers and elderly folk who need a steadying hand while clambering in and out.

Can I see the Meriva's suicide doors in action please?

Our spy photos picture the car in motion, and the doors are thankfully shut (the system locks the doors above walking pace to prevent any unintentional suicide door spills). However, CAR Online understands the production doors will remain faithful to the trick apertures seen on the Geneva concept car.

Vauxhall and sister brand Opel will launch the new Meriva in 2010, priced from around £9000.

Click 'Next' to read more about the MerivaWhat's under that black-and-white disguise?

Although the black tape detracts from the production Meriva's real details and surfaces, it's easy to spot that it's more conventional mini-MPV than the concept's swooped-back monobox. The show car's steeply raked screen is classic show car bravado, it appears.

The real Meriva is more upright and boxy – all the better for transporting bods and boxes, then. However, the latest GM look should create some visual excitement. The new Insignia signals the latest Vauxhall/Opel family look and its design 'blade' will also grace the flanks of the Meriva.

Expect this 'tick' to shuffle around the design: on the Insignia, it falls behind the front wheel arch; on the 2009 Astra, it will sit in front of the front arch. GM is keen to avoid the Russian doll syndrome, where every model is a clone of the other (remember BMWs of yore?).

The oily bits

Today's Meriva is underpinned by the old-shape Corsa platform, suggesting that the 2010 Meriva will adopt the GM Gamma architecture; that spells front-wheel drive and a range of perky petrol and diesel engines.

We'll keep you posted on any future details as they emerge...

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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