The Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic broke cover ahead of their official public debuts at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham. James Dallas reports
This year’s Commercial Vehicle Show promises to be the biggest and most successful yet with almost all the exhibition space sold out two months in advance and with up to 20,000 industry-orientated visitors expected to attend when the doors open on 29 April.
Chief organiser Bob Sockl, who will hand over the reins to finance boss Rob Skelton when he retires after the 2014 event, is adamant that those attending the show come ready to make business transactions and “to find out what will make their businesses better”.
As he puts it: “20,000 is the definable universe of technical visitors – we don’t want tyre kickers.”
The CV Show is, says Sockl: “The supermarket of the road transport business.”
There will be 435 exhibitors at the NEC this year, four more than in 2013, occupying 52,000 sq m – 7.5% up on the previous show.
The two most prominent van unveilings in Birmingham will be the new Renault Trafic and its sister model, the second generation Vauxhall Vivaro.
The unveiling of the Luton-built new Vivaro will hog the limelight on the Vauxhall stand and, as a UK-manufactured product, it promises to be the biggest draw of the show overall.
Vauxhall says the medium-sized van will sport eye-catching looks and sophisticated technologies with design cues taken from its passenger car range. Fresh features include a prominent grille and new black and chrome headlamps as well as the blade feature side design familiar from the Insignia and Astra car line-ups. Daytime running lights are equipped with LED technology.
The new Vivaro is offered with a choice of eleven standard colours – five solid and six metallic.
Power comes from two new turbo diesel engines, a 1.6 CDTi with 90hp and 115hp, delivering combined consumption of 47mpg, Vauxhall claims, and a 1.6 Bi-turbo CDTi with outputs of 120hp or 140hp.
The model is available in two lengths, 4998 and 5398mm, both 216mm longer than the first generation van, and two roof heights and as a panel van, double cab and Combi.
Mark Adams, Vauxhall design vice-president explains: “The second generation Vauxhall Vivaro distinguishes itself with its superb practicality and quality. After 13 successful years on the market we wanted to make the new Vivaro’s packaging even more attractive while raising the standard of its core capabilities.”
The model will be available in two trim levels, the entry-level Vivaro is presented as a strong, practical workhorse with the front bumper, grille, side mirror housings and vertical rear mouldings made from durable, textured black plastic.
For the Sportive version all body elements, such as the front bumper, side moulding, vertical rear bumper corners and side mirrors are body-coloured while the grille features chrome finishings.
Vauxhall claims the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro accounts for almost 10% of the 500,000 medium-sized vans sold across western and central Europe every year.
Like its sibling model the Vivaro on the Vauxhall stand, the all new Trafic will be the main attraction on the French brand’s platform, sporting a new look both inside and out, according to Renault.
Power comes from the new Renault-developed 1.6 dCI powerplant, which includes a twin-turbocharged version. This provides a high standard of driving performance with combined-cycle fuel consumption of 39.2mpg, according to Renault
The third generation Trafic is being built exclusively at the brand’s Sandouville factory in France.
The front end incorporates the bigger, more upright badge that is part of Renault’s new brand identity and other changes include new wide headlights, a more steeply sloping windscreen, a wider air-intake and wrap-around front bumper.
Renault says 270 variants of the new Trafic will be available. Like the Vivaro, the Trafic comes in two lengths, two heights and in panel van, crew-cab, platform cab and mini-bus guises as well as in a range of approved conversions.
Renault introduced the Trafic in 1980 and has now sold 1.6 million units worldwide. The French brand embarked upon a medium van partnership with Opel/Vauxhall for the second generation model in 2000 and this agreement spawned the GM-owned brands’ Vivaro.