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Future models - Opel - Karl

Opel reveals its Karl baby hatch

Micro machine: Opel unveiled its budget friendly Karl, which could come to Australia wearing a Holden Barina Spark badge.

With Holden set to source cars from Europe, Opel’s new Karl could be the next Spark

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Opel logo4 Dec 2014

GENERAL Motors’ German arm Opel has officially revealed its new micro car which could find itself in Australian driveways wearing a Holden Barina Spark badge by 2016.

Named after the son of Opel’s founder, the Karl will sit above the Adam and below the Corsa in the European line-up with a sub-€10,000 ($A14,676) price-tag.

Powering the five-door hatch is a naturally aspirated version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine found in the Adam that produces 75kW.

With Chevrolet pulling out of Europe at the end of 2015 and taking its Spark baby hatch with it, the Karl will fill the gap left in GM’s line-up when it goes on sale in June next year.

The Holden Barina Spark – or Chevrolet Spark as it is known in the United States – measures 3595mm long or about 8.5mm shorter than the Karl. The Spark is built in South Korea, and the Karl will be too.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the new Colorado in November, Holden marketing director Bill Mott said a large part of the company’s future line-up will consist of cars sourced from Europe, but this would not rule out bringing in vehicles from elsewhere.

“A significant proportion of our future product portfolio will be coming out of Europe and we’re very much excited about that,” he said “But we also don’t want to close any doors for future opportunities because the plan is to source the very best and it may be that another product opportunity presents itself.”

This may open the door for the Opel Karl to come to Australia wearing a Holden Barina Spark badge.

Today when GoAuto asked Holden about this possibility the company issued a guarded statement.

“Unfortunately we can’t comment on future product,” the statement read.

“All we can say is that Holden is committed to leveraging the global GM product portfolio to provide the best products for our customers and that we are confident that our future products will enable Holden to be very competitive across the key segments.”

Opel Group CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said that despite it budget-friendly price point the car is well equipped with comfort features.

“Short, crisp and full of character – the name Karl reflects its strengths.

Opel’s new entry-level model is a grown-up car and will appeal to heart and intellect,” he said.

“Karl offers typical Opel virtues starting with the high-tech, quiet one-liter, three-cylinder engine and by no means ending with our award-winning IntelliLink infotainment system. The Opel Karl is the ideal car for price-conscious customers looking to combine everyday suitability with comfort and modern technologies.”

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