Development concept for a high performance minivan
The Opel Meriva OPC is development concept multi-variable five-seater minivan with a 132 kW turbo engine and a top speed of 222 km/h. It offers Opel an opportunity to extend the sporty Opel Performance Center (OPC) family, of which the Astra OPC is already available in South Africa, and soon to be followed by the Zafira OPC.
Maximum power of 132 kW ensures superior performance and makes this currently the most powerful production turbo unit in its displacement class. The 1.6-liter ECOTEC’s maximum torque of 230 Nm is available in a wide band from 2200 to 5500 rpm. Along with the six-speed manual gearbox and sport chassis, this forms the basis for the minivans´s dynamic performance. The Meriva OPC accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds and has a top speed of 222 km/h.
Technical highlights include a fast-reacting water-cooled turbo-charger integrated in the exhaust manifold, air-cooled intercooler, sodium-cooled exhaust valves, oil-spray cooling of the pistons, a reinforced crankshaft and friction-reduced drive of the 16-valve unit’s camshafts. An additional primary catalytic converter close to the engine ensures rapid exhaust-gas treatment after starting the vehicle.
A special feature of the new engine also enhances active safety: the turbocharger’s electronically-controlled overboost function can temporarily increase torque by 36 Nm to 266 Nm on demand – an increase of around 15 percent. The need for additional power is determined by the electronics system based on the speed with which the accelerator pedal is applied. The extra power is available for a maximum of five seconds; thereafter the control unit seamlessly regulates the torque back to its standard level of 230 Nm. The overboost function provides an extra margin of safety, by allowing quicker overtaking for instance.
The Meriva OPC’s sports chassis is lower than the base model (10 mm in front, 15 mm in the rear). McPherson struts and twin tube gas pressure shock absorbers in front and torsion-beam axle with coil springs and twin tube gas pressure shock absorbers in the rear ensure stable and precise handling. The Meriva OPC’s handling is further enhanced by large 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 ZR 17 88W tires. Large diametre 16-inch brakes with ventilated disks at the front and 14-inch solid disks at the rear ensure powerful deceleration.
With its distinctive face and grille featuring a wide chrome crossbar, the Meriva OPC’s stylish looks reflect its role as the sporty top variant in the model line. The car’s dynamic lines are accentuated by the front bumper with large air intakes, the characteristic OPC honeycomb grille, an aerodynamically-optimized roof spoiler and rear apron. The Meriva OPC also features 17-inch alloy wheels in OPC-design with six Y-spokes, blue brake calipers and a trapezoidal tail pipe. The Meriva OPC’s interior specification includes Recaro sport seats in front with leather/fabric upholstery, a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel and gear shift knob, as well as chrome-ringed instruments.
Standard equipment includes Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), brake assist, and electronic brake force distribution. Passive safety features include a stable, high rigidity passenger cell with computer-calculated deformation zones, doors reinforced with steel tubes, four air bags, active head restraints in front, mountings for the ISOFIX child’s seat system, and Opel’s patented Pedal Release System (PRS). Opel has enhanced the Meriva OPC with a number of high-tech options that increase safety, including halogen cornering and curve headlamps (Adaptive Forward Lighting, AFL) unique in this class.
Like all other Merivas, the new OPC model features the unique FlexSpace concept, which continues to set standards in interior versatility. The compact leisure and family sports van can quickly and easily be transformed from a five into a spacious four, three, two or one-seater with generous luggage space, without cumbersome removal of the seats.