World Premiere of New Meriva; GM Presents More Than a Dozen Debuts at 30th Bologna Motor ShowBOLOGNA, Italy & ZURICH, Switzerland--Dec. 1, 2005--This year's Bologna Motor Show, taking place from December 3 to 11, marks the 30th anniversary of the largest Italian automobile exhibition. General Motors , the world's largest automaker, rises to the occasion and presents one world premiere and 13 additional debuts at the BolognaFiere site. Enjoying a starring role on the GM stand, which is located in hall 22 and hosts all six GM brands on sale on the Italian market, will be the new generation of the Opel Meriva. Featuring new engines, an extended range of technical features and refreshed design, it makes its world premiere in Bologna.
Further GM highlights for visitors to Bologna will be 13 Italian debuts, including the Cadillac BLS, Corvette Z06, Opel Astra TwinTop, Zafira CNG and three new OPC versions, as well as the Saab 9-7X and 9-5 BioPower. Also presented for the first time in Italy are the Opel Antara GTC (Gran Turismo Crossover), recently named "Concept of the Year" by the British specialist magazine "Autocar", and the Chevrolet S3X SUV concept.
GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster: "With Cadillac, Corvette, HUMMER, Saab, Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet, we are very well-positioned in Europe, and several important new models this year and next ensure our product initiative stays right on track. Our newest cars live up to the promise and character of the brand they represent and deliver high quality and great value. This is essential for continued success."
With approximately 186,500 registrations through October 2005, GM brands achieved a total market share of 8.9 percent in Italy, compared to 8.5 percent in the first ten months of the previous year. With almost 28,500 registered vehicles in the first ten months of this year, Chevrolet improved its results as compared to last year by 7.5 percent. In a shrinking market, from January to mid November Opel sold 154,222 passenger cars and increased its market share to 7.6 percent (same period 2004: 7.5 percent), consolidating its position as the number one car import brand in Italy.
Opel: World premiere for new Meriva generation; Italian debut for Astra TwinTop
The Meriva, which has sold over 500,000 units since its debut in May 20, 200603, leads its segment in terms of registrations in Europe and is the best selling van in Italy. Now, the new edition of the versatile, compact minivan is now ready for launch. With a new 1.3 CDTI high-tech entry-level diesel engine (75 hp) and a 1.6-liter gasoline engine (105 hp) with fuel-saving TWINPORT technology, additional highly efficient power units enhance the Meriva range. For the first time in this vehicle class halogen adaptive cornering and curve light (Adaptive Forward Lighting) is available. The Meriva's distinctive new design elements at the front and rear - like the grille with wide chrome crossbar - now even more clearly reflect Opel's dynamic design language.
Another new model, and also available from February 2006, is the sporty top-of-the-range version, the Meriva OPC, powered by a newly-developed 180-hp 1.6-liter turbo engine which enables a top speed of 222 km/h. Two other members of the new OPC family are making their Italian premiere in Bologna: the new high-performance versions of Astra and Zafira, both equipped with a 240 hp, 2.0-liter turbo engine.
In addition to the new Meriva and the OPC versions, there are plenty of other new models to attract visitors to the Opel stand, from A for Antara GTC to Z for Zafira CNG. The dynamic Antara GTC (Gran Turismo Crossover) is the study of an off-road coupe and has just been voted "Concept of the Year" by the British magazine "Autocar". From its bold V-shaped radiator grille to its mighty 20-inch wheels made of polished aluminum, the three-door design breaks through conventional coupe and SUV boundaries. Typical details such as the "crease" on the engine hood, the roof module inspired by the new Zafira and the shape of the headlights show that the concept vehicle is an unmistakable member of the Opel family. The production crossover vehicle will be launched before the end of 2006 and will be named Antara.
Also making its Italian debut is the new Opel Astra TwinTop. With a length of just under 4.50 meters, the dynamic four-seater boasts dimensions comparable with those of mid-size convertibles. The cabrio-coupe is equipped with a latest-generation electro-hydraulic retractable steel roof. The intelligent kinematics of the innovative three-part system yield a generous trunk volume of around 440 liters, and even when the roof is down, there are more than 200 liters of space. An innovative loading aid ("Easy Load" function) provides particularly easy access to the trunk at the touch of a button. The Astra TwinTop will go on sale in spring 2006. The range of engines is unusually wide for this kind of car, and comprises four gasoline engines (105 hp to 200 hp) and the 150-hp 1.9 CDTI common-rail diesel with particulate filter.
Opel's latest edition mid-size range models are also presented for the first time to visitors of an Italian motor show. The Vectra and Signum feature a completely new, striking face in the dynamic Opel design language and an extensively modified engine range. Another new model on the Opel stand will be the Zafira CNG, the especially pro-environmental and highly economical natural gas version of the multivariable compact van with the unique Flex7 seating concept.
Chevrolet: S3X concept gives foretaste of new SUV model
The S3X SUV concept is the main attraction on the Chevrolet stand in Bologna. The concept car provides an initial impression of the future Chevrolet design language: powerfully flared wheel arches containing large 20-inch wheels, striking metal inserts in the front and rear bumpers, horizontal vents in the wings and jewel-style headlamps in which cylindrical prisms divert the light. Based on this concept vehicle, the production version SUV will be launched in 2006 as the Chevrolet Captiva. The Captiva will be Europe's first Chevrolet model with a diesel engine.
The Matiz range is extended by a new version with a four-speed automatic transmission. The Chevrolet Matiz Automatiz is exclusively available with the three-cylinder engine with 800 ccm displacement.
Corvette: ZO6 with 512 hp - world's most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine
Z06 is short for the fastest Corvette of all times, which will be making a pit stop in Bologna. This sports car, derived from the Le Mans racing car, is powered by a 512-hp V8 engine, the world's most powerful naturally aspirated production V8 unit. The seven-liter small-block boasts a multitude of technical refinements, including titanium con rods, intake valves, valve springs and push rods, forged pistons, a forged crankshaft and dry sump lubrication. With a top speed of 320 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, the Corvette Z06's driving performance is on super car level.
Cadillac: New BLS and high-performance STS-V model
The BLS expands the Cadillac range with a luxury mid-size model specifically designed to meet the demands of European customers. The front-wheel-drive four-door sedan has clear, angular contours, a distinctive wedge shape and an elegant interior, all of which perpetuate Cadillac's characteristic design language.
Going on sale next spring, the BLS will be available with three turbo gasoline engines (2.0 and 2.8-liter displacement, 175, 210 and 255 hp) and a 150-hp, 1.9-liter common-rail turbo-diesel with particulate filter.
Also for the first time at an Italian Motor show, the US luxury brand presents its high-performance STS-V model. The Cadillac STS-V is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine with supercharging and output of 476 hp, enabling acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in less than five seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).
Saab: The brand's first SUV model and 9-5 with BioPower technology
The Saab 9-7X is stepping onto Italian soil for the first time in Bologna. The four-wheel drive five-seater is the first SUV model (sports utility vehicle) from the Swedish premium brand. It is built in the US state of Ohio. Many of the Saab 9-7X's design details, for example its distinctive radiator grille with three air inlets and the transparent tail lamps, reflect the current Saab design language. Another feature typical of the brand is the ignition key positioned behind the gear lever in the center console. A powerful V8 engine with a displacement of 5.3 liters and 300 hp output ensures a superior ride in any situation. According to current plans, within Europe, the Saab 9-7X will be distributed in Switzerland and Italy via importers, and will be sold through selected Saab dealers.
Further new Saab models in Bologna include the dynamic 9-3 SportCombi and the new 9-5 sedan and station wagon, featuring new design as well as an upgraded chassis and an enhanced powertrain program. Celebrating its Italian premiere is the ethanol version, the 9-5 BioPower with a 180-hp 2.0-liter engine, offering both, environmental compatibility and driving excitement. The ethanol-powered Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower has recently been honored with a Best of What's New award from the U.S. magazine Popular Science.
Also on display at the Bologna Motor Show is the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet, which in the first ten months of this year confirmed its position as the best-selling premium convertible in Italy.
HUMMER: H3 and H2 on display in Bologna
HUMMER stands for iconic design and unparalleled off-road-performance. On display at the Bologna Motor Show are the new HUMMER H3 as well as the H2 and H2 SUT. A distinctive feature of the HUMMER H2 SUT is its folding bulkhead at the rear of the passenger compartment that allows customers to have the flexibility to reconfigure this area for carrying people or cargo. A 122 x 244 cm pickup bed can be created by powering the rear window into the Midgate, then folding forward the Midgate and rear seat. Like its H2 brother, the SUT is powered by a 6.0-liter V8 engine with an output of 316 hp and a maximum torque of 490 Nm. In Italy the range is marketed by the official importer, Cavauto N.A.V.D. (North American Vehicles Division).
General Motors Corp. , the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 325,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company's history.
In Europe, GM sells its Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer ranges in over 30 markets. It operates 11 production and assembly facilities in eight countries and employs around 60,000 people.
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