THE car Opel desperately wants to strengthen the brand in Australia will arrive later this year.
Opel's compact Sports Utility Vehicle, the Mokka, is due to arrive in local showrooms in the third quarter.
SUVs are the fastest growing segment in Australia and the Mokka has sold well overseas. Holden will sell essentially the same car later this year, but will call its offering the Trax.
The Mokka will launch locally with a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, and will be available with both front-wheel drive and Opel's adaptive all-wheel drive technology.
Competition will include the Nissan Dualis, Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai ix35 and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Opel says the interior of the new Mokka will embrace the brand's "signature sculptural design DNA" which is captured through the signature wing-shaped instrument panel that wraps around the door inserts and the artfully sculpted surfaces in the doors.
The Mokka will bring with it a number of technologies for comfort and safety. These include Opel's adaptive forward lighting system, electronic stability program with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, and a second-generation Opel Eye front camera with Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning functions.
The Opel Mokka is a five-star EuroNCAP vehicle and in Australia will come with a reversing camera as standard.
Opel Australia's managing director Bill Mott said the Mokka was a very welcome and highly anticipated model for the local line-up.
"We are very excited to bring the Mokka to Australia. This car has already had in excess of 100,000 orders in Europe since launch and with the Australian SUV segment growing 22% in the last 12 months it is certainly a space we want to be playing in. Our Mokka not only allows us to join the segment, but compete in the market with a bold offering," he said.
"We will have a number of Mokkas on the road from next month for local testing and we are set to see vehicles in dealer showrooms nationally in the third quarter of this year," Mr Mott said.
Full specification and pricing for the Mokka will be released closer to launch.
Opel recently recorded its best sales result since its launched about 18 months ago, with 241 vehicles sold in February.
"It has been a big start to the year, kicking off with our German Exchange Program retail campaign offering customers the opportunity to live with our cars for 24 hours, the addition of four new dealers in Queensland and the introduction of the highly anticipated Opel Performance Centre range of products," Opel Australia managing director Bill Mott said.
"With new Opel models coming out of Europe and many of them high on our wish list, we're very much looking forward to what the remainder of the year is set to bring for us locally."
Since the start of 2013, Opel Australia has partnered with new dealers in Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. Additional dealers are set to be appointed in Newcastle and Port Macquarie during the second quarter of this year, taking the total dealer network to 23 dealerships.
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