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Opel Antara 4WD crossover
More practical "sports" content
In the mid-size SUV vocabulary

Opel Antara crossover SUV: front side view.

Top Antara: 3.2-litre V6 with 227hp and 5-speed ActiveSelect automatic.

13 October 2006.

Over two years after the exit of the old body-on-frame, Isuzu-based Frontera SUV from the Opel model line-up, a new SUV era is just starting at the German brand, with the arrival of the all-new crossover (unitary body) Antara.

Based on a GM platform used also by the Chevrolet Captiva (5 or 7-passenger SUV) - both made by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. in South Korea (Opel, Daewoo and Chevrolet are part of GM's brands portfolio) - the new 5-passenger Antara will be launched before the end of this year, with prices starting at 26,850 euros.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: back side view.

Antara doesn't take up more space than a mid-size passenger car.

By definition, an SUV is sports-utility oriented, but Opel's new Antara goes a step further in its sports practicality, with the clever Flex-Fix system. Hidden behind the rear bumper, the Flex-Fix system is a drawer-like carrier that can transport up to two bicycles without the addition of any accessory.

Following the three-door GTC crossover concept cars which debuted at the 2005 IAA at Frankfurt, now comes the turn of the production version, the all-new Opel Antara to make its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show (September 30 to October 15).

Initially, the Antara will be be launched with three transversally-mounted engines with four valves per cylinder. The most powerful is a V6 petrol ( gasoline) engine with a displacement of 3.2 litres and output of 167 kW/227 hp.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: dashboard view.

SUV capabilities with car-like handling and comfort environment.

With the diesel popularity in Europe, Opel expects the 110 kW/150 hp, 2.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel to be the top seller. Within a few months, it will be joined by a second version which produces 93 kW/127 hp. Both engines come with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard.

The entry-level engine is a 2.4-litre, 103 kW/140 hp four-cylinder petrol unit.

Opel says that since 1998, the total share of the combined SUV and crossover market in Europe has doubled from three to six percent, with continued growth expected. An increasing number of active families with children who enjoy outdoor hobbies and sports prefer versatile and modern-looking SUV and crossover vehicles.

Unlike the Antara with its modern car-like unibody construction, the (Isuzu-based) Frontera had a ladder frame design typical of off-road vehicles. Since it was unveiled in 1991, around 285,000 Fronteras were sold in Western and Central Europe up to 2003, with 37,500 sold in its peak year of 1993.

Opel Antara crossover: Automatic Lighting Control with sensors activate the headlamps

The Edition variant features ALC: sensors activate the headlamps.

With its compact dimensions (length x width x height: 4575 x 1850 x 1704 millimetres), Antara doesn't take up more space than a mid-size passenger car. Moreover, it boasts advanced features such as intelligent four-wheel drive with Traction Control (TC), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Descent Control System (DCS), as well as Active Rollover Protection (ARP).

Standard equipment (German specifications, possible differences between markets and versions) includes radio remote control central locking, air conditioning with pollen filter, front and rear power windows, electric heated/adjustable exterior mirrors, on-board info display as well as stereo CD-Radio CD 30 MP3 with remote controls on steering wheel and seven loudspeakers, a roof-mounted antenna for optimal radio reception and 16-inch wheels with 215/70 R 16 tires.

All Antara diesel models also feature a diesel particulate filter and electric heater Quickheat as standard.

For on-board entertainment, the Antara features a standard CD-Radio CD 30 MP3-compatible stereo with seven loudspeakers, remote controls on the steering wheel and a roof antenna to provide excellent radio reception. The DVD 100 Navi navigation system with large Colour Info Display, 6 x CD changer, mobile phone console with Bluetooth connection and voice control are optionally available.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: the rear seat back can be split 60:40 and folded forward.

The rear seat back can be split 60:40 and folded forward.

The Edition variant also features 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/60 R 17 tires, and comfort features such as Electronic Climate Control (ECC), heated front seats and Automatic Lighting Control (ALC) whose sensors automatically activate the headlamps.

The top Antara version, Cosmo, gets standard 18-inch aluminium rims with 235/55 R 18 tires, leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, seats in a fabric/leather combination, on-board computer, cruise control, Park Pilot, windshield in heat-absorbing glass and rain sensor.

Other comfort options include exterior mirrors that fold in electrically (optional with Cosmo) and stationary heating (optional).

The standard safety package includes front airbags, thorax/pelvis side airbags for driver and front passenger, head curtain airbags for the front and outer rear seats as well as a crash-optimised chassis with four load paths.

Other safety features include three-point safety belts and height-adjustable head restraints for all five seats. The front seats are equipped with seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters. The outer rear seats come with Isofix mountings for fast and secure fitting of child seats with corresponding fixtures.

The trunk (boot) has a capacity of 370 litres under the luggage compartment cover. Cargo capacity increases to 865 litres with the rear bench seat folded down and up to 1420 litres when loaded to the roof. The rear seat back can be split 60:40 and folded forward.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: Flex-Fix is always available, because it is an integral part of the car.

Flex-Fix is always available, because it is an integral part of the car.

A storage box under the load floor helps organise the luggage compartment, as does the optional FlexOrganizer system (known in the Astra and Vectra station wagon models).

Nets, dividing walls, rods and hooks can be snapped into two rails on each of the side walls of the Antara's luggage compartment, allowing the trunk to be separated into different sections to protect the cargo from shifting or being damaged during the journey.

In the cabin, the Antara features numerous compartments and boxes, including a drawer under the passenger seat, sunglasses holder in the roof liner, nets on the front seat backs, a parking garage ticket holder left of the steering wheel, a net on the centre console, compartments in the front and rear centre arm rests.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: The integrated rear carrier Flex-Fix eliminates the need for cumbersome assembly, dismantling or storage of parts.

The integrated rear carrier Flex-Fix: no need for cumbersome parts.

The integrated rear carrier Flex-Fix eliminates the need for cumbersome assembly, dismantling or storage of parts. Available also as an option in the new Corsa, the Flex-Fix system stows away almost invisibly under the rear bumper and can easily be pulled out to carry up to two bicycles.

Two major benefits compared to conventional bicycle carriers are the more convenient loading, as bicycles do not need to be lifted as high, and the fact that Flex-Fix is always available, because it is an integral part of the car.

Owners of SUVs and crossovers like the Antara are often active people who want to transport bicycles, just like the Corsas young target group. The Flex-Fix system is capable of transporting loads of 40 kilograms and is suitable for standard bicycle tire sizes of 18 to 28 inches.

The new crossover was tuned by Opel chassis experts at various circuits, including GM test centres in Pferdsfeld, Germany and Millbrook, United Kingdom. During the development phase, the model prototypes covered over five million test kilometres worldwide.

The McPherson suspension in front and a four-link suspension in the rear provide a quality chassis concept similar to that of the Opel Vectra and Signum models.

The optional Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) monitors tire pressure via sensors at each tire valve and activates an individual tire warning signal in the Graphic or Color Info Display at pressure losses from 0.3 bar. The display can show the exact pressure of all four tires to a precision of 0.1 bar.

Opel Antara crossover SUV: Flex-Fix mechanism - bicycles do not need to be lifted high

Flex-Fix: bicycles do not need to be lifted high.

4WD - Under normal conditions, the Antara is a front-wheel drive car. However, propulsion power can be quickly distributed between the front and rear axle at a ratio of up to 50:50 when needed. The key element for this function is an electronically controlled, electro-hydraulic differential on the rear axle.

The compact and light four-wheel drive system is fully integrated in the ABS and ESP and supports the driver effectively in all driving situations, including during heavy acceleration.

The braking system comprises large, stable ventilated disc brakes and a modern four-channel ABS. The ABS hydraulics also takes over the brake assist function if emergency braking occurs (Hydraulic Brake Assist, HBA).

The modern ESP system boasts numerous additional functions that further increase active safety, including a standard Descent Control System (DCS) which allows the vehicle to maintain a constant speed even down steep inclines without the driver needing to brake. Active Rollover Protection (ARP), another safety feature, can apply high braking pressure within milliseconds at individual wheels.

Diesel Engines - The Opel Antara is available with a newly developed 2.0 CDTI diesel engine with an output of either 127 or 150 hp. It includes the newest generation common-rail technology with up to 1600 bar injection pressure, aluminium cylinder head and turbo charger with variable turbo geometry.

Both variants come standard with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter, which requires no additives. The top diesel unit can be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission instead of the standard five-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to ActiveSelect, the automatic transmission also offers manual gear selection, as well as the choice of a winter driving program.

Petrol Engines - The Ecotec engine range also includes two petrol units.

The base unit is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 103 kW/140 hp. The double overhead camshafts feature a balance shaft with two rotating counterweights as well as electronic throttle control.

The most powerful engine is the 3.2-litre V6 with 167 kW/227 hp. With its standard five-speed automatic transmission incorporating ActiveSelect, the petrol V6, a close relative of the 2.8 V6 ECOTEC unit in the Vectra and Signum models, accelerates the Antara to a top speed of 203 km/h. This engine's features include variable camshaft phasing for both induction and exhaust sides, as well as a variable intake manifold.

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