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Vauxhall set to launch new models

Vauxhall is consolidating on the success of the new-shape Astra with a series of model changes and an increasing focus on new designs and bodystyles.

Key initiatives this year will include design changes to the Signum and Vectra, while a radical new SUV concept car is set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year.

Alain Visser, director of EU marketing for GM Europe, says: "We are going to look increasingly at new bodystyles and segments. There is no such thing as people who don’t buy a great looking car."

Part of the line-up for the new Vectra will be a VXR version, powered by a 260bhp 2.8-litre V6 engine.

In addition, the new Astra will gain a retracting hard-top version, to be unveiled at Frankfurt. A new VXR version of the Meriva is also on the drawing board, along with an updated Corsa taking design cues from the Astra.

There is also debate at GM about creating a new Opel/Vauxhall flagship model that would take the place of the Omega, although it is likely to be a very different car.

Visser says: "If you do a flagship car, this is an area owned by the German manufacturers, so you had better be damned good and damned original." To ensure as many people as possible try the Vauxhall driving experience, GM launched the one million mile test drive this year and has so far received 750,000 test drive requests, of which 250,000 have been taken.

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