The Meriva “baby Zafira” MPV, which gets its first UK showing at next month's Birmingham motor show, takes the Zafira flexible seating concept a stage further. It uses FlexSpace, which means the car can change from accommodating five people to being a single-seater within seconds. Each seat folds completely flat to give a load capacity ranging from 490-1300 litres.
Key to the design is the centre seat, which has a backrest six inches narrower than the cushion. It allows the two outer seats to move inwards on rails and slide backwards past the rear wheel arches.
“The new Merivas demonstrates the Vauxhall brand's creative strength and emphasises the path we have chosen for our new product portfolio,” says managing director Kevin Wale. “In future, the share of innovative car concepts in our model programme will reach around 40 per cent.”
The Corsa-based Meriva will go on UK sale in spring. Vauxhall has also release pictures of the Vectra-based Signum, which goes on sale next summer. The car features a strengthened body design and flexible seating. The three-seat rear bench can be divided into two separate seats for added space and comfort.
It also premieres three new Ecotec engines: a 2.2-litre petrol direct injection (Vauxhall's first), a 2.0-litre turbo and a 3.0-litre common rail diesel.
“We're convinced Signum will appeal to those who so far might not have considered buying a Vauxhall,” says Wale.