Opel Antara: First Images Released2
Your First Look at the 2008 Saturn Vue
General Motors is wisely pairing Saturn and Opel brands to help revive Saturn at a minimal cost, as well as getting Opel a couple of new products just as efficiently. This strategy is being implemented with several new models for 2007 and 2008 model year. We’ve already reported on the Saturn Aura, which borrows from Opel sedans in Europe, and the Saturn Sky, which was takes cues from an Opel concept and shares more than a passing resemblance to the new Opel GT. Next to come to market will be the Saturn Vue and Opel Antara.
These four-door, car-based SUVs were previewed by a concept called the Opel Antara GTC at the 2005 Frankfurt auto show and called the Saturn PreVue at the 2006 New York auto show. Differences between the Saturn concept and the Opel concept were found in the badge; both even sported the same 212HP four-cylinder diesel and six-speed automatic powerplant. Opel will get the production version first, just as they showed the concept first. The Opel Antara goes on sale by the end of the 2006 and gets a formal introduction at the 2006 Paris auto show this September. Ahead of the show introduction, however, Opel has released intial photos. AutoPacific and VehicleVoice are happy to bring them to you.
The 2007 Opel Antara should give us a remarkably accurate peek at the 2008 Saturn Vue. A contemporary and attractive family look is shaping up for Saturn, which the updated Vue should complement nicely, and the inspiration by Opel may prove to be a very smart decision and wise allocation of resources. These two brands can share themes and products more easily than GM’s North American brands. As there is no intention of bringing the Opel brand to the States or Saturn to Europe, there is no need to be concerned with cannibalization of one another’s sales.
Concept Carries Well Into Production
When shown as the Antara GTC and the PreVue, the concept showed a terrifically aggressive new approach. Aside from the biggest differences, four doors instead of two and a less steeply raked backlight, these images of the production Antara show that much of the concept’s feel carries into production. The headlights look to be conventional instead of LED units; they have a shape similar to the concept but allow for real-world requirements like turn-signal indicators. Though the Opel’s grille carries the same shape from concept to production, there is a bit less chrome. The shape of the hood carries over, as well as the dramatic roof rails.
The theme of the bodyside ditch reached production, though less dramatic than in concept form. Of course, the real car did not get the same twenty-inch inch tires with highly polished, deep set wheels, but the production wheel does carry a similar design. The production car needs to comfortably accommodate at least five, which means that the fast rear roofline is slightly more upright in the real world. The larger shape of the rear window will likely be appreciated for better rearward visibility than the concept’s smaller window would have allowed. The shape of the taillights is adapted for production, though at least the Opel version gets red instead of clear lenses.
More Realistic Shape to Interior
Though the round shapes of the HVAC vents and steering wheels carry into production, as does the location of the navigation system and the theme of the center console, the center console and center stack are far more upright than in concept form and the transmission lever is in a more traditional location.
Vue Formula Does Not Change
When the 2008 Saturn product arrives, it will get a similar powertrain lineup to the current model, meaning a base four-cylinder and uplevel V6. Though Antara gets a 224HP 3.2L V6, the Vue is more likely to take the 252HP 3.6L being offered in the 2007MY Aura. Saturn may continue to offer the low-cost mild hybrid system of the 2007MY Vue in the next generation as well.