Opel Zafira for Oz?

Opel’s all-new Zafira seven-seater may relaunch in Australia in 2012, five years after Holden discontinued the model line.

This third-generation Zafira will make its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September before going on-sale in MPV-loving Europe late this year.

The Zafira is styled with Opel’s new design philosohpy in mind, a clear relative of the new Astra and Insignia.

Offering a completely redeveloped Flex7 seating layout, the Zafira’s two rearmost seats still fold flat into the floor, but the middle-bench has been replaced with three individual-moving armchairs that each slide 210mm to increase middle- or rear-seat legroom. With rear-seats folded, the Zafira’s boot holds 710 litres; with middle-seats folded, it expands to 1860L.

Although the first-gen Zafira utilised an Astra-based chassis, the new car is a hybrid between the latest Astra and Insignia - the strut front-suspension is from Insignia, the Watt’s link torsion beam rear from Astra (and our Cruze).

Engines in Europe include a 81kW or 96kW 2.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel or 88kW or 103kW 1.4-litre petrol turbo four, with six-speed manual or auto transmissions.

Tech options include adaptive chassis control, adaptive cruise control and collision-sensing auto-braking.

Mini MPVs are a huge hit in Europe, however lacklustre sales of the original Holden-badged Zafira (and Renault Scenic and Citroen Picasso) meant its replacement wasn’t offered locally. Time will tell if Opel gamble against the trend and offer the new Zafira here next year…

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