French platform could save GM Europe

Peugeot: Should make good use of the EMP2 platform.
Peugeot: Should make good use of the EMP2 platform.

GM Europe's search for an effective new partner appears to have borne fruit with the news that French car group PSA Peugeot-Citroen has released details about its new Efficient Modular Platform, which will underpin a vast majority of the company's upcoming vehicles, following an example set by Volkswagen's MQB platform.

Opel Vauxhall has known about the EMP2 design for some time, attracted by the fact that it's designed for transverse engines but can be equipped with a rear axle for all-wheel drive vehicles, or with electric motors for vehicles powered by PSA's HYbrid4 system.

The wheelbase can be expanded as needed in order to offer seating for two, five or seven passengers.

The EMP2 platform will make its production debut under a second-generation Peugeot 308, due at March's Geneva Motor Show, and a new Citroen Picasso. After that, it will gradually spread to other members of the PSA family including hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, crossovers and even light commercial vans.

Although PSA has yet to confirm it, General Motors-owned Opel and Vauxhall will have access to the platform as part of their recent technology-sharing agreement, with the first GM Europe car to use the EMP2 set up being the fifth generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, due in 2015.

Future Opel/Vauxhall hatches, sedans and speciality vehicles will also suit the new platform and it's possible that US brands like Chevrolet, Buick, and even Cadillac could employ its benefits.

As well as advanced modularity and cost amortisation the platform has the advantages of weight savings of 70kg, which with high-performance technologies, allows a 22 per cent reduction in CO 2 emissions and possibilities for a diverse range of body styles. It also provides improved safety, driving dynamics and comfort.

The new platform is expected to cover 50 per cent of PSA's total production in the long term.

Sunday Star Times