Press Release:
180-hp turbo engine and 222 km/h maximum speed
Newly-developed 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine most powerful in its class
Opel’s OPC initiative: Fifth high-performance model within a few months
With the Meriva OPC, Opel presents a double world premiere at the Essen Motor Show (November 25 to December 4, 2005). The multi-variable five-seater with 180-hp turbo engine and a top speed of 222 km/h is not only a new variant in the Opel model range, it also creates a sporty minivan segment. At the same time, it extends the exclusive, sporty Opel Performance Center (OPC) family, which also includes the Astra OPC, Zafira OPC, Vectra OPC and Vectra Station Wagon OPC and has grown to five models within a few months. The high-performance Meriva will be available at dealerships in February 2006, with prices starting at 23,000 euros.
The completely newly-developed 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo ECOTEC engine with 132 kW/180 hp ensures superior performance and is currently the most powerful production turbo unit in its displacement class. The 1.6-liter ECOTEC’s maximum torque of 230 Nm is available in a wide band from 2200 to 5500 rpm. Along with the six-speed manual gearbox and sport chassis, this forms the basis for the minivans´s exciting drive. The Meriva OPC accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and has a top speed of 222 km/h.
The state-of-the-art 1.6-liter OPC engine weighs only 131 kilograms and produces 112.5 hp per liter. The technical highlights include a fast-reacting water-cooled turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold, air-cooled intercooler, sodium-cooled exhaust valves, oil-spray cooling of the pistons, a reinforced crankshaft and friction-reduced drive of the 16-valve unit’s camshafts. An additional primary catalytic converter close to the engine ensures rapid exhaust-gas treatment after starting the vehicle.
“Overboost” also enhances active safety
A special feature of the new engine also enhances active safety: the turbocharger’s electronically-controlled overboost function can temporarily increase torque by 36 Nm to 266 Nm on demand – an increase of around 15 percent. The need for additional power is determined by the electronics system based on the speed with which the gas pedal is applied. The extra power is available for a maximum of five seconds; thereafter the control unit seamlessly regulates the torque back to its standard level of 230 Nm. The overboost function aids drivers in various situations, for instance in overtaking vehicles more quickly and thus more safely.
The Meriva OPC’s sports chassis is lower than the base model (10 mm in front, 15 mm in the rear). McPherson struts and twin tube gas pressure shock absorbers in front and torsion-beam axle with coil springs and twin tube gas pressure shock absorbers in the rear ensure secure and consistent handling. The Meriva OPC’s driving performance is further enhanced by large 17-inch wheels with 205/45 ZR 17 88W tires. With a 16.7:1 ratio, the rack-and-pinion power steering gives precise response, while 16-inch brakes with ventilated disks at the front and 14-inch solid disks at the rear ensure powerful deceleration.
Exclusive sporty OPC look
With its distinctive face and grille featuring a wide chrome crossbar, the Meriva OPC’s stylish looks reflect its role as the sporty top variant in the model line. The car’s dynamic lines are accentuated by the front bumper with large air intakes, the characteristic OPC honeycomb grille, an aerodynamically-optimized roof spoiler and rear apron.
The Meriva OPC also features 17-inch alloy wheels in OPC-design with six Y-spokes, blue brake calipers and a trapezoidal tail pipe. Exclusive to the OPC line is the metallic arden blue exterior color, with star silver, sapphire black and magma red available on request. The Meriva OPC’s interior boasts Recaro sport seats in front with leather/fabric upholstery as standard, a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel and gear shift knob, as well as chrome-ringed instruments with special dials.
AFL available for first time in class
Standard equipment includes Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), brake assist, and electronic brake force distribution. Passive safety features include a stable, torsionally rigid passenger cell with computer-calculated deformation zones, doors reinforced with steel tubes, four air bags, active head restraints in front, mountings for the ISOFIX child’s seat system, and Opel’s patented Pedal Release System (PRS). Opel has enhanced the Meriva line with a number of high-tech options that increase safety, including halogen cornering and curve headlamps (Adaptive Forward Lighting, AFL) unique in this class. This makes a significant contribution to active safety, particularly during nighttime driving, for instance when turning on to dimly lit side streets or into dark driveways, driving on winding roads, or when negotiating mountain passes with hairpin turns.
Like all other Merivas, the new OPC model features the unique FlexSpace concept, which continues to set standards in interior versatility. The compact leisure and family sports van can quickly and easily be transformed from a five into a spacious four, three, two or one-seater with generous luggage space, without cumbersome removal of the seats. With ample interior space and compact dimensions (length: 4.05 meters), the Meriva is not only ideal for city driving, but also provides spacious comfort on longer journeys. The optional cellular phone console is now available with Bluetooth interface and voice control.
In May 2003, the Opel Meriva added a new dimension to the compact class. With great success – the five-seater, which leads its segment in both Germany and throughout Europe, sold over 500,000 units through the end of October 2005. The Opel Zafira OPC has also already shown how successful the combination of sporty driving performance and versatile van can be. Since the Zafira OPC’s debut in 2001, more than 12,000 customers throughout Europe have chosen this sports van. This second generation is available at Opel dealerships since November 25.
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Source: Opel Press Release

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