The planned Vauxhall city car is likely to get its own European-engineered platform.
The car, which would take on the Ford Ka and VW Up, is the first new car planned as the first range extension following GM’s decision to hold onto its European subsidiaries last year.
New Vauxhall/Opel boss Nick Reilly, the driving force behind the creation of the car, also wants to have an electric version of the car, a variant that no other competitor bar Smart offers.
In his previous job as boss of GM’s International Operations, Reilly brokered a deal to engineer an electric car based on the old Dawoo Matiz, a design unveiled at the Delhi Auto Show last week.
An obvious platform for Vauxhall’s new city car is the new Chevy Spark, designed and built in Korea, but Reilly says: “That’s a possibility but, without giving too much away, unlikely”.
Instead Vauxhall/Opel would develop its own platform, either a ground-up new one or a hybrid incorporating parts form several donor vehicles, the latter like the new Meriva platform, which uses parts from three models — Zafira, Corsa and Astra.
“Depending on which technical route we took, we could be in the market between two and four years,” says Reilly.