The famous Vauxhall Viva name is set to be revived for an all-new city car set to rival the Ford Ka and Hyundai i10, plus the Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii triplets. The new Viva will go on sale in spring next year, and our images show how we expect it to look.
The last time the Viva name was seen was in 1979 on a small saloon car – a forerunner to today’s Astra. However, the new Viva will be a sharply styled small hatchback that replaces the unloved Suzuki Splash- based Agila. The Viva will be based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark.
With Chevrolet pulling out of Europe, it leaves the way clear for Vauxhall, and its sister company Opel, to market the new model as GM’s budget car offering – Vauxhall is aiming for a starting price of around £6,995.
It also marks the first time in more than 20 years that Vauxhall and Opel will use different names for a car in the UK and mainland Europe.
Vauxhall management were keen to have a name that fitted in well in the UK in a new market segment for the company, and one that reflected on its heritage. Opel will not be using the Viva name.
Although the new car will be based on the Spark and will be built in Korea, GM’s European design team, led by Brit Mark Adams, has worked hard to give the car its own unique look. So expect some typical Vauxhall design cues, with a front end similar to the Adam and other recent Vauxhall products.
There’ll be swept-back headlamps with distinctive LED daytime running lights, a large Vauxhall badge sitting on large chrome wings on the grille and ‘blade’ surfacing along the sides.
Inside, different finishes have been used on the plastics to give a more stylish, premium look. There won’t be the huge array of options seen on other small cars to keep the costs down – Vauxhall is more likely to evolve the range with some special editions. And although there will be some tech on board like Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, don’t expect the latest IntelliLink infotainment systems – it would make the car too costly.
Instead, space will be key to the new Viva’s appeal. There’ll be five doors and easy access, while dynamically the new model is said by Vauxhall insiders to focus more on comfort and refinement than sporty handling.
GM’s latest family of small, economical engines will help to keep costs low, so we’d expect to see the new three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine with 89bhp offered, possibly with a lower-powered version of the same unit. Vauxhall is aiming for sub-100g/km from all models, which would mean an average of around 70mpg.
Next year is set to be a busy one for Vauxhall. The Viva will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, by which time the new Corsa will be in showrooms. It’ll be followed by an all-new, British-built Astra likely to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.