By Mike Torpey on 2016-09-29 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Vauxhall ready to
VAUXHALL turned up the heat on its mainstream rivals with a four-star display at the Paris Motor Show.
First up for the volume brand was the world reveal of its new VIVA ROCKS model due to arrive in UK showrooms next year.
And the company also lifted the wraps on new versions of a pair of class-leaders in the shape of the new Mokka X and Zafira Tourer, both of which hits the streets next month.
Vauxhall also provided a clear signal over its future commitment to electric vehicles with the Ampera-e being readied for UK evaluation early in 2017.
Arriving in showrooms next summer, the VIVA ROCKS features a raised ride height with rugged body cladding, a robust new interior and the latest connectivity including OnStar and R 4.0 IntelliLink.
Ideally suited to city conditions, the newcomer has a raised ride height for better visibility and retains the practicality of the regular Vauxhall VIVA with five doors, five seats, compact dimensions and a luggage capacity in excess of 1,000 litres.
Design tweaks set the ROCKS apart from its rivals, courtesy of silver roof rails, rugged front and rear bumpers with integrated skid pads, muscular wheel arches and 15-inch bi-colour look alloy wheels.
A ‘City' driving mode reduces steering effort to assist with tight manoeuvres in heavy traffic, there's also cruise control and additional features include Park Assist.
Meanwhile, the new Ampera-e electric car, premiered in Paris, will be evaluated in the UK by Vauxhall with the possibility of right-hand-drive models being produced in a future generation.
Due to be sold by sister company Opel from next year in left-hand-drive, the Ampera-e is claimed to have a pure electrical range of 310 miles without needing a recharge.
Says Vauxhall chairman Rory Harvey: "Vauxhall is committed to having a future EV presence in its range. The technology which underpins the new Ampera-e is of great interest to us, and we will be evaluating LHD cars from next spring and demonstrating them to clients.
"The fact that Ampera-e is not an eco-luxury or second car for customers broadens its appeal greatly, but it's obviously vital that the car we sell in our market is right-hand-drive, and that won't be available in the current generation."
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