The Adam may be grabbing all the headlines, but Vauxhall isn’t about to forget the popular Corsa. The company is planning an all-new supermini for the start of 2014, with efficient engines, better quality and more space to help set it apart from the Adam.
Our exclusive images give you an idea of how the Vauxhall Corsa is shaping up before the wraps are pulled off – expected to be at next September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Fans will recognise the bold Vauxhall grille from the facelifted Astra, while the upturned ‘swish’ in the Corsa’s flanks and the ‘flick’ creases around the door handles are from the sporty three-door Astra GTC. Plus, the detailed jewel-like tail-lights have clearly been borrowed from the Adam.
Vauxhall insiders have also told Auto Express that the many special editions of the outgoing Corsa inspired the huge range of personalisation options on the MINI-rivalling Adam. So while the next-generation Corsa won’t have such enormous scope for customisation, buyers will certainly be able to stamp their own personal touch on the car.
The car in our pictures is the more sensible five-door, but it’ll be joined by a sportier-looking three-door with a lower roofline and unique styling – mirroring the differences between the five-door Astra and the GTC.
Separate factories will build the two versions, with the three-door produced at Vauxhall sister brand Opel’s Eisenach plant in Germany – where the Adam is made – and the five-door being assembled in Zaragoza, Spain.
Under the skin, the new Corsa will sit on an updated version of the Gamma II platform that underpins the Adam, as well as the Mokka supermini-SUV. It’ll be longer than the Adam to deliver more space in the rear and boot.
The Adam’s stylish and well built dashboard is expected to be carried over to the Corsa, as is the IntelliLink infotainment system that allows drivers to hook up their smartphone and download apps for sat-nav and Internet radio.
The fresh platform is expected to help Vauxhall shave around 50kg from the Corsa’s kerbweight. That will mean better handling, as well as stronger fuel economy.
But improvements in efficiency will mainly be down to a family of new engines. Chief among them will be a new 1.0-litre direct-injection three-cylinder turbo, which will rival Ford’s 1.0 EcoBoost. This will feature in a new line-up of three and four-cylinder engines with capacities up to 1.6 litres. Hot VXRs will boast over 200bhp, while all engines will be 10 per cent more efficient than their predecessors.
When it arrives in showrooms, the Corsa will be at an instant advantage, with next-generation versions of the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta not expected to appear until at least 2015. But Vauxhall will still have to ensure that the car is competitively priced, and the range is expected to kick off from around £10,000.