General Motors is joining the sub-compact SUV B-segment with an all new car - the Mokka. While it's to be shown as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka Concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March, GM has announced that it will be available before the end of this year.

The Mokka will be available in either front- or four-wheel drive, with a pick of three engines - a 115 bhp 1.6-litre, a turbo 140 bhp 1.4-litre or a turbo 1.7-litre CDTI diesel with 130 bhp and oodles of torque, the latter two with either six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions.

The new small SUV will be sold under Opel in Europe and Vauxhall in the U.K., enabling General Motors to participate in new market territory. It's a very relevant territory for the company that wrestled back the global number one crown during Toyota's problems with the earthquake in Japan, because it means the company will be building a new and important sales category.

The compact SUV is an urban vehicle - despite all the pictures of couples having fun in the great outdoors in their SUVs you see in advertising, more than 95 percent of SUVs never see the environment they are built to traverse - they are a fashion statement. With compact and frugal now in vogue, and a compact that comfortably seats five, the small trendy SUV is a class for the future.

The Mokka will feature class-first lighting technologies in the form of its Advanced Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+) and High Beam Assist (HBA), plus a new generation of the Opel/Vauxhall front camera system, which by virtue of image processing adds Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Alert (FCA) and second generation Traffic Sign Recognition.

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