De Kromhouthal and the Vivaro are a perfect match. The character of the former factory building in northern Amsterdam where engines for trucks and buses were once produced was perfect for the world premiere of the new Opel Vivaro. “The high ceiling and industrial flair provided the ideal backdrop for this presentation,” says Christopher Rux, Coordinator of International Product Communications, speaking about the two-day event for selected reporters. More than 110 journalists turned out on Wednesday and Thursday to get an exclusive first look at the new all-rounder from Opel.
The second generation of the Vivaro is available in an even wider variety of models, features modern, fuel-efficient engines, and the design is a far cry from a simple utility van. The elegant design language fits its purpose. After all, in addition to its rugged build that makes it ideal for day-to-day commercial operations, a modern van has to cut a good figure for recreational use or as a mobile office. “The Vivaro has held its own for 13 years in a highly competitive market. But customers today expect more from a commercial vehicle than ever before,” explains Peter Christian Küspert, Board Member of Sales at Opel. “The vehicle should serve as a business card in both our professional and private lives, and it has to be highly versatile. The new Vivaro provides optimal solutions in this respect.”
APPLAUSE FROM THE IVOY JURY
The two dozen members of the IVOY (International Van of the Year) jury were the first to see the new Vivaro in the flesh on Wednesday. “These journalists make up the jury for the most prestigious prize a new commercial vehicle in Europe can receive,” explains Christopher Rux. “They gave us positive feedback on the event and the exclusive location and particularly for our new Vivaro.” Amid the applause from journalists, Niels Loeb, Chief Exterior Designer at Opel, and Peter Christian Küspert unveiled a new, silver Vivaro.
The new van has all the latest technology on board. The IntelliLink system with Navi 80 is now available in the Vivaro for the first time, featuring a voice control function, digital radio reception, and many fully integrated smartphone functions. When compared with a car, there’s nothing second-rate about the options available to customize the Vivaro: Drivers can opt for keyless access, new cruise control with a speed limiter function, parking sensors, or a rear view camera.
PRAISE FOR THE DESIGN
With a large, prominent front grille, distinctively shaped headlights, and wing-shaped graphics on the side, the Vivaro expresses the Opel design perfectly. “The participants praised the fact that the Vivaro is geared towards the signature elements and features and equipment available on Opel passenger cars,” says Christopher Rux. This kind of praise was voiced on both Wednesday and Thursday. The second day of the event saw 90 European commercial vehicle journalists visit Kromhouthal to take a closer look at the newest member of the Opel family.
Just like the previous model, the wide variety of Vivaro models is practically limitless. There are three chassis forms on offer: cargo van, Combi passenger van, or flatbed vehicle with a double cab. There is also a platform version available for body manufacturers. The Vivaro is available in two lengths and the covered models offer greater ground clearance. It can be combined with four modern, fuel-efficient diesel engines.
The 1.6-liter CDTI engine is available as a turbo or BiTurbo version and can deliver between 90 and 140 hp, depending on the model. That said, torque is key when it comes to multi-purpose vehicles. Here, the base engine delivers a hefty 260 Newton meters. This increases to a maximum of 340 in the top model. In spite of these impressive numbers, it is economical to drive. Fuel consumption is similar to that of a small car, particularly as the BiTurbo engines can also now be equipped with start/stop technology. The extensive technical investments pay off in a minimum consumption of 5.9 liters for the 120-hp engine.
Four versions of the Vivaro in a range of colors and packages came under the scrutiny of the press at the world premiere in Amsterdam. Eight Opel employees from the communication, marketing, PR, design, and engineering departments were on site on both days. The experts shed light on the exterior, interior, and technology in dedicated workshops. “As far as I know, no questions were left unanswered,” says Christopher Rux.
The new Vivaro is set to make its public premiere at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, England, at the end of April, with the market launch to follow in the summer. This gives non-journalists an opportunity to check out the details of the interior and exterior of the new all-rounder. The successful introduction to professional reporters at Kromhouthal raises hopes for further positive feedback.
The Opel Vivaro was a champion right from the start. The multi-functional van hit the ground running in its first year on the market in 2001. Its modern, fresh design and the fuel-efficient yet powerful engines proved an instant success on the market. The Opel with the characteristic roof-line curve held its ground against strong competition.
The van’s strengths lie in its versatility and the fact that it is available in a wide variety of models. Drivers can choose between two wheelbases, two roof heights, and a number of basic layout options, from a panel van right through to a minibus. With up to 8.4 cubic meters of cargo volume and a payload of more than 1.2 tons, the Vivaro is built to haul. The options for customization are almost limitless: Opt for folding doors or a hatch at the back or go for a second sliding door or a partition – (almost) anything is possible. Those looking for extravagance can opt for the sleek, eye-catching Black Beauty edition with black alloy wheels and tinted side and rear windows.
Ecotec and CDTI engines with up to 146 hp were introduced in 2006 as part of a mid-cycle facelift. Continued strong sales figures demonstrate the ongoing success of the concept – even after a decade on the market. The Vivaro is one of the top five best-selling vans in Europe, taking second place in sales in its segment in three EU markets. Around 600,000 Vivaros have been produced at the British Opel/Vauxhall plant in Luton between 2001 and today.