Adventurous Flextreme concept hints at the Griffin's 2009 Zafira MPV
4 December 2007

The next Vauxhall Zafira, due in 2009, will come with suicide rear doors, and possibly twin gull-wing loadbay doors too, according to GM insiders. The Opel Flextreme concept, primarily built to demonstrate the next developments of the company’s plug-in hybrid project – which began with the Chevrolet Volt - also provides clues to the next Zafira. The rear-hinged, rear side doors are a certainty for production, but there is no definitive word yet on whether the side-hinged, gull-wing load-bay doors will make the showroom. But their appeal is considerable – apart from being distinctive, they allow access to the boot without the need to stand in the road. The new Zafira – and its Astra hatchback sister – will also have a more curvaceous dashboard whose sculpting sweeps into the front doors, again as featured on the Flextreme. while elements of the door trim design, which include particularly striking arrowhead aluminium inserts that double as door handles, should also appear. The aim is to move away from the sharp-edged, slightly unwelcoming look of the current model towards a softer, more inviting cabin. The first evidence of this new approach to Vauxhall interiors will be seen in the next Vectra. Also planned is a Flexfix rear bumper carrier, as optionally available on the Corsa and used to carry a pair of Segways on the Flextreme. Expect bold head and tail lights too, though the headlamps will not be as flamboyant as the concept’s.

Richard Bremner

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Zafira
Vauxhall's Zafira has been a trend-setter since 1999, but has never been trendy

The Vauxhall Zafira seven-seat MPV is versatile and well made but is now showing its age

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