Vauxhall has released the first details on its new Vivaro van, which will be built at its Luton plant before going on sale this summer.
The future of the Luton factory was insecure during the global finanical crisis, but it was announced back in March 2011 that the plant - which employs around 1200 people from the Luton area and secures many more jobs in the supply chain - had been saved by it securing production of the next-generation Vivaro. The Luton plant currently produces 67,000 units per year.
The new van, which is poised for its global debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham in April, will come with a new range of economical engines and "new technologies inside and out", according to Vauxhall.
Vauxhall has updated the exterior of the van, which will also be sold in Europe as an Opel, with a more prominent front grille with new graphics, as well as giving the van its corporate front-end design to tie the Vivaro in with its passenger car offerings. The company says it has given the Vivaro "a more modern and precise look".
Inside, the company says it has brought "typical passenger car amenities and features for frequent drivers into the LCV segment", meaning Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation and music streaming are all likely to feature.
The current Vivaro is available in both standard and LWB forms, and is powered by a range of 2.0-litre CDTi diesel engines, coupled to either a six-speed manual or six-speed Techshift automatic transmission. In standard form, the Vivaro has a payload allowance of 1100kg and a kerb weight of 1670kg. The current model costs from £19,303.33 excluding VAT.
The Vivaro has been developed alongside the Renault Trafic, which has has also been previewed in an official design sketch ahead of its debut at the Commercial Vehicle show.
Renault, Europe's best-selling van maker, promises "revised styling, new technologies and a range of new engines that benefit from Renault’s expertise in the world of Formula 1 racing" for its new Trafic.