Future Models - Opel 2016 Mokka
Geneva show: Holden helps to serve up a hot Mokka
Babyccino: Opel’s Mokka has been given a major mid-life makeover that includes a new 1.4-litre turbocharged powertrain calibrated in secret in Australia.
Exclusive: Latest Opel Mokka gets the Holden engine calibration treatment
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5 February 2016
GM HOLDEN engineers had a hand in the development of the new-look Opel Mokka X
that has been revealed in images ahead of the compact SUV’s public debut at the
Geneva motor show next month alongside the Holden-fabricated Opel GT sports
The vehicle, with a new petrol powertrain that was calibrated at Holden’s Lang
Lang proving ground, is also set to turn up as the revamped Buick Encore at the
New York motor show in late March.
Holden appears to have left the door open to the smallest GM SUV as a potential
replacement for the Holden Trax, with the Australian company cryptically saying
it has nothing to announce about Mokka “at this time”.
Although the Trax has been a winner for Holden, the Australian branch of GM has
embarked on a course to bring its model range into line with that of GM sister
companies Opel, Vauxhall and Buick, one step up from Chevrolet.
While Holden is not yet saying which way it will jump on Trax, it has
confirmed to GoAuto that the powertrain calibration for the facelifted Mokka’s
new 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission was done
by Holden Engineering under General Motors’ global work-share program.
Although the facelifted vehicle was masterminded by GM Europe, development
mules for the updated compact SUV were spotted running round Holden’s
high-security proving ground in Victoria last year. The vehicles wore
disguises, but the distinctive squared-off C-pillar shape gave them away as
Holden Engineering has long been a specialist in powertrain calibration for
GM, with recent projects including the Opel Corsa
The Australian engineers also did the global chassis tuning for the original
Mokka and related Chevrolet/Holden Trax before their global launch in 2012-13,
although that part of the Holden operation has been wound back since the demise
of local full-product development.
The refreshed Mokka X – X being Opel’s new designation for crossover vehicles –
needed extensive powertrain calibration work for its new 1.4-litre turbo-petrol
engine, six-speed automatic transmission and adaptive all-wheel-drive system.
Transplanted from the all-new Astra, the 112kW engine will put a spring in the
step of the Mokka X when it arrives in European and United Kingdom showrooms
under both Opel and Vauxhall badges in the third quarter of this year.
It is not only more powerful than the current GM 104kW 1.4-litre engine, but
more fuel efficient, with idle-stop helping to keep fuel consumption down to
6.6 litres per 100km.
In Europe at least, the Mokka range will keep its recently introduced
new-generation 1.6-litre “whisper diesel” in two states of tune – 81kW and
The all-wheel-drive system on the more powerful variants has an electromagnetic
clutch that engages the rear wheels when the front wheels detect slip. While
the vehicle’s default driving mode is front-wheel drive, up to 50 per cent of
the torque can be directed to the back axle.
Exterior wise, the revamped Mokka gets Opel’s (and Buick, Vauxhall and Holden’
s) new grille treatment, with its wing-shaped motif.
The new headlamp clusters – armed with new anti-glare adaptive headlights – are
topped by new signature double-line LED daytime running lights.
The front fascia has a more sculpted shape and fewer plastic inserts than
before – a move that Opel says endows the Mokka with a wide, more solid and
Rear of the A pillars, the panels are carried over from the Series I Mokka,
although fresh tail-lights get the new LED treatment.
One of the most welcome changes to Mokka is the flash new interior, with a
dashboard drawing its horizontal design from the new Astra. The latest layout
has a centre stack with touchscreens up to eight inches wide, equipped with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via GM’s Intellilink system.
In Australia, Holden has sold the Chevrolet version, the Trax, since 2013.
Although Holden sales have slipped in recent times, the Trax has been a bright
spot, making a 6.2 per cent sales gain last year, to a handy 6350 units, in the
fast-growing small-SUV segment.
With a lot invested in the Trax name, Holden might be reluctant to change the
nameplate to Mokka should it take the leap that way, but with Mokka/Encore
already carrying two names, what is one more?
While Europe takes its Mokka from GM Europe’s Spanish plant, the Trax is built
alongside the Mokka and Encore at GM Korea’s Bupyeong plant.
Should Holden decide to switch to Mokka or the Encore, it would seem a fairly
simple procedure to turn down the tap on Trax and turn up the wick on a
Before the end of the decade, Holden is expected to get an Opel-built,
Insignia-based large SUV from Germany, and a fresh mid-sizer, perhaps the
Chinese-built Buick Encore, to replace the ageing Captiva.
No doubt, both of these will carry the X designation.
Also at Geneva, Opel is set to spring its new compact GT coupe that was
in Germany but built at GM Australia Design’s fabrication workshops in
The vehicle foreshadows Opel-Vauxhall’s new design direction, and while the car
is strictly a show piece, most pundits expect GM to push ahead with something
similar at some point.