Vauxhall will unveil a much smaller car in the near future to better compete with MINI and Fiat.
Vauxhall has decided to go a bit smaller in their production line, 3.7 meters to be exact, with the upcoming Vauxhall Junior in its final development phase. It will be ready to launch in early 2013. The new model has been in GM Europe's cycle plan for years and was nearly axed two years ago by ex-GM chief Ed Whitacre, who believed that global programs should get priority at the time. European CEO Nick Reilly strongly emphasized the success and demand for cars like the MINI and Fiat 500, and management finally saw his way.
The Junior draws inspiration from the MINI and Fiat 500 with a much smaller frame, narrow pillars and rounded headlights. It does not look like it belongs in the Vauxhall/Opel family, but rather MINI with its short wheelbase and unusually wide tracks, giving it an overall sportier look. It also features a convex rear window reminiscent of the original Ford Ka's and arched roofline resembling the Audi A1. The interior will reportedly be very stylish and will offer various color and finish options and will have a range of economy focused three-cylinder engines in both gasoline and diesel configurations.
Sportier engines could be in the future as well. Sources also claim the engine bay can be made in two different sizes to accommodate stockier powertrains. A battery-powered version is supposedly in the works and will be due out sometime in 2015. Once in production, the Junior will thankfully not be called the Junior. GM execs have already decided on a name, which stems from a 1983 concept, and may decide to reveal it at Frankfurt next month to start the build-up to the car's launch. Rendering courtesy of AutoCar.