Opel engineers are out testing the first model post the brand’s sale by General Motors to France’s PSA Group. The model is a replacement for the current Mokka X, which does duty in the United States as the Buick Encore.
The Mokka X is one of the most popular models in the subcompact crossover SUV segment. It was only introduced in 2012 but Opel is keen to replace it. The new model should arrive on the scene in late 2019.
Why the hurry to replace the strong-selling current model? In its turnaround strategy for Opel announced last November, PSA Group said it planned to transfer the entire portfolio of Opel cars to PSA Group platforms by 2024.
The rapid shakeup is due to Opel’s sale agreement made between GM and PSA Group, which blocks Opel from selling vehicles based on GM platforms in markets where GM brands operate. PSA Group also has to pay GM royalties for use of its platforms.
The platform for the new Mokka X will be PSA Group’s CMP (EMP1) design for subcompact cars. The platform is already found in several PSA Group vehicles, one of which is the DS 3 hatchback.
Judging by our spy shots, the new Mokka X will feature evolutionary styling. After all, PSA Group would be silly to throw away the good standing of the current model. There are some clear differences, though. The vehicle looks longer and lower. The grille on the new Mokka X also sits lower, although it features the same mesh pattern used on the current model.
There’s no word on what powertrains will be offered, but you can count on the most potent being a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.