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March 10, 2022updated 11 Mar 2022 9:42am

Opel and Vauxhall charge towards 2028

A lot of new models are coming for Stellantis' German-British brother brands as their EV-only future approaches.

By Glenn Brooks

The pace of change within Rüsselsheim since Stellantis came into being fewer than 15 months ago has been near-frenetic. And while Vauxhall is hardly ever mentioned by Opel in any media statement, the England-based brand is quietly thriving in each of the four UK nations.

The latest news for both brands concerns electrification. Specifically the end of ICE models in 2027 ahead of an all-EV line-up for the UK and in Opel’s LHD and RHD European markets as at 1 January 2028. The small print there is the continued availability of certain petrol Opel cars, SUVs and LCVs in countries where Euro 7 norms won’t apply.

Already, there are a dozen electrified Opels and 10 Vauxhalls: Corsa-e, Mokka-e, Combo e-Life, Astra PHEV five-door & estate, Grandland PHEV and Zafira-e Life/Vivaro-e Life plus the Combo-e, Vivaro-e and Movano-e light commercials. The two which aren’t available for the Griffin emblem brand are Opel’s Rocks-e and Vivaro e-Hydrogen.

Each division will gain a further electrified hatchback and wagon in 2023, which is when the Astra-e and Astra-e Sport Tourer go into production, these being EVs. These are to supplement the Astra Plug-in Hybrid-e and Astra Sport Tourer Plug-in Hybrid-e.

From sub-A to D+ segments

The Opel range in left-hand drive European countries now starts down in the sub-A segment with the new Rocks-e.

This rebadging of the Citroën Ami was announced for certain LHD countries last August. Three months later, sales commenced in Germany, additional countries following during early 2022. The launch price in Opel’s home market was 7,990 euro for the base version, the better equipped Klub and TeKno model grades being priced at  EUR8,790. The first deliveries took place in December.

As per the Ami, there is a 6 kW motor and a 5.5 kWh battery. The maximum range is a mere 75 km (WLTP) and the top speed is just 45 km/h. Classed as a quadricycle, in some countries it can be driven by anyone over the age of 14 with no driving licence necessary. Stated weight is 471 kg.

Low cost features include manual adjustment for the mirrors, windows which flip up manually, a fixed passenger seat (the driver’s will slide) and so that the same panel can be used for both, the driver’s door is rear-hinged while the passenger’s is conventionally hinged. In addition to a recess at the passenger’s feet, which can fit a cabin-sized suitcase, there is another storage area at the rear.

Connected to a 220 V household socket, the car can be recharged in three hours, Opel says. Dimensions are: 2.41 m long, 1.39 m wide and 1.52 m high.
The Moroccan plant (Ameur Seflia, Kenitra) which builds both this tiny Opel and the Citroën original should continue doing so for perhaps a decade.

Opel’s smallest mainstream model is the Corsa and for Vauxhall, this is the brand’s entry point. Launched in late 2019 and in electric form just before much of the European industry went offline as Covid took hold in early 2020, each has since become massively successful. Both Corsa and Corsa-e are due for facelifts in 2023.

The next generation EV should arrive in either late 2026 or during the first half of 2027. There won’t be any ICE-engined variants.

Coming sooner than a new Corsa-e is a successor for the Crossland. The name of the next generation of this B-segment crossover isn’t yet known, only that it should arrive in 2024 and be electric-only. The architecture will be STLA Small.

One size up is the new Astra, full details of which can be found in PLDB via the link at the end of this report. That includes both body styles as well as ICE, EV and PHEV propulsion systems.

The Manta, initial details of which were announced in July ‘21, will be electric-only and potentially a five-door crossover-coupe in the style of the Volvo C40. The market launch is expected to be in early 2025. The production model is unlikely to resemble the green concept shown above.

Along with quietly announcing the change of name from Manta-e to simply Manta, O-V stated earlier in March that the Insignia will be replaced. What sort of body or bodies isn’t yet known, nor has the model name been confirmed. It may be that today’s Vauxhall hatchback plus the Opel hatchback and wagon will evolve into one SUV around 4.7-4.9 m long, positioned above the Manta.

Jumping back to the 4.5 long size class, the Grandland – newly facelifted and with a name shortened from the original Grandland X launched in late 2017 – comes with combustion propulsion or as a PHEV.

In November 2021 it was reported that production would recommence in Germany from February. The Eisenach plant had been shut temporarily in September with build in France at Sochaux replacing it. The semiconductor shortage complicated matters further although this does now finally seem to be on the way to be being resolved.

There might not be a replacement for this model, the successor potentially being EV-only. However, both brands might still launch ICE versions of the next Grandland in 2025 and sell them for three years, with an EV to replace each by 2028.

Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of Just Auto.

Future platform intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of GlobalData’s Automotive Intelligence Center. That includes Opel and Vauxhall passenger vehicles not featured in this report.

This was the final instalment in a series which looked at selected future models for Stellantis’ brands. In addition to Opel and Vauxhall, that included Fiat, Abarth and Lancia; Chrysler, Dodge and Ram; Alfa Romeo; Maserati; Jeep; Peugeot; Citroën and DS. The next report will examine Ferrari.

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