GM has released details of its fifth-generation Opel Corsa (Vauxhall Corsa Mk IV in the UK), promising that the new model will set benchmarks for its class.
It will have to: it joins a talented segment with cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Honda Fit, Toyota Vitz and Peugeot 208.
The Opel Corsa E is virtually identical in length to the outgoing model, with much of the cabin space cleverly used in its 4 m.
There is a new platform, dubbed Gamma II in GM-speak, with no carryover components from the Corsa D. The new sheetmetal has greater differentiation between three- and five-door models, with styling by Brit Mark Adams. A panoramic roof is optional. Other options include blind spot alert, lane departure warning, and a rear-view camera.
The new interior has a redesigned instrument panel and dashboard, including Opel’s Intellilink in-car system, already seen on the Adam subcompact, which is on a shorter version of the Corsa E’s platform. Intellilink features a seven-inch colour touch-screen, which can be controlled via apps on the Apple Iphone and Google Android.
Appealing to the Corsa’s urban drivers, there is a revised speed-sensitive power steering, with less understeer. Ride and handling have also been improved, says Opel.
Opel has joined the trend toward three-cylinder petrol engines, with a one-litre Ecotec direct-injection turbo as the smallest unit, developing 90 or 115 PS. It is combined with a stop‚Äďstart system to lower fuel consumption.
A 1¬∑3 turbodiesel, a 1¬∑2 and 1¬∑4 petrol engine, and a 1¬∑4 turbo are also on offer, mated to new six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes.
The Corsa will not be sold in Australasia or North America, where the Korean-made Chevrolet Aveo (under various names), also on the Gamma II platform, is GM’s entry in the B-segment.