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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Vauxhall Meriva Details

Design and Dynamics

New Meriva continues Vauxhall’s theme of offering the very best in stylish design and driving dynamics.

The neat lines are instantly identifiable, with new classy touches such as dark-tinted rear lamp lenses and a smart chrome strip that runs across the base of the tailgate.

Up front, there’s a new grille and bumper, while new round fog lamps adorn higher-range models. The dimensions are the same as before, but the look is bolder and more confident, in keeping with the image of what has become the European market leader in its class.

But the smart looks aren’t all, for New Meriva has been designed to offer the best in dynamic ability and comfort. The ‘Dynamic Safety Chassis’ has excellent levels of grip and neutral handling characteristics, meaning it is ideally set-up to deal with the majority of real-life situations from motorway cruising to avoiding emergencies.

The ABS system is highly advanced, with discs all-round and standard electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). ESP and Traction Control are on the options list, and further bolster New Meriva’s dynamic package.

On models fitted with Easytronic automated manual transmission, Hill Start Assist is also standard. This maintains pressure in the braking system for 1.5 seconds after the foot brake is released, giving the driver enough time to select a gear and apply the accelerator without rolling back. As soon as the car starts to move, braking pressure is released.

Meriva VXR dynamics

Meriva VXR features an exclusive Sport Chassis, which is even more dynamic that the standard car to react quicker to driver input.

Tested at GM’s high-speed test centre at Pferdsfeld, Germany, as well as the legendary Nurburgring, the Meriva VXR’s chassis is 10mm lower at the front and 15mm lower at the rear than the standard car. Higher spring rates and stiffer dampers (up to 50 per cent) significantly reduce body roll, while 60 per cent stiffer bushes all round further sharpen the driving experience.

VXR models come with 17-inch alloys as standard, shod with 205/45 ZR 17 88W tyres. Ventilated disc brakes at the front and solid discs at the rear help keep things in check, while the Electronic Power Steering has a quicker 16.7:1 ratio than the standard car, delivering exceptional precision and responsiveness.

The standard ESP system is set to interact later than on standard cars, allowing the driver to set the car up more flexibly under hard driving.

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