In a world where every automaker has or wants to have at least one crossover or SUV, sometimes they have to do something a little extra to set their model apart from the pack. Bentley's EXP 9 F does it with its signature interior; Lamborghini's Urus concept does it with its supercar styling and hot red paint; and Opel does it with an innovative accessory - a bike carrier that's integrated into the bumper. Opel claims it's the only car maker to offer a fully integrated bicycle carrier that is always on board.
Making the logical leap that crossover owners are likely to be cyclists or mountain bikers, Opel offers a FlexFix bicycle carrier on the rear bumper of its Mokka crossover. Essentially a slide-out bike shelf, the system carries a bicycle without any extra racks or hardware. When not in use, it slides right back into the body of the car so you're not towing around a big, rattling empty rack.
Opel has offered the FlexFix for several years, and the new Mokka will get the second generation version of the system. It's been reinforced for an extra 10 kg (22 lbs) of bike weight. An available extension allows the FlexFix to carry three bikes up to 60 kg (132 lbs). The system tilts out of the way so you can open the tailgate even when fully loaded up with bikes. It also locks your bicycles, allowing you to confidently leave your car without worrying about theft.
The FlexFix isn't exactly cheap when compared to other rack systems. Opel lists German pricing at €590 (US$763) for the main unit and €190 ($245) for the extension. If you like an integrated system that is always available but tucked out of sight when not in use, it might be a worthy investment, though.
Variations of the FlexFix are offered on several other Opel models, including the Astra Sports Tourer and Zafira Tourer. If the FlexFix proves popular, perhaps Opel parent company GM will bring the offering to other brands and markets.
The pictures don't tell the story of how the FlexFix slides into the bumper, but the video below does.