Vauxhall Adam Rocks

Sliding canvas roof panels have become the new fad among stylish European hatchbacks. Again. While Mini has stuck with full convertibles, Fiat rolled it out with the 500C and Citroën followed suit with its DS3 Cabrio. But rather than simply cruise down the same road, GM's European operations have taken things a step further with the introduction of the new Adam Rocks.

Previewed (to evidently positive reception) in concept form at last year's Geneva Motor Show, the Adam Rocks does more than add that canvas roof: it also gives the little city car a more rugged appeal. Most obvious is the dark gray lower body cladding with satin chrome trim, its trapezoidal grille bisected by a chrome bar. But the suspension has also been retuned, riding over half an inch higher and sitting wider on 17- or available 18-inch alloys. You'll also find integrated fog lamps, rear roof spoiler and skid plates front and back. That three-layer roof takes just five seconds to operate, opening up the ruggedized cabin.

The Adam Rocks model also introduces a new 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which will be available across the Adam range with either 90 horsepower or 115 and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. As with many of GM's European products, the Adam Rocks will be sold by Vauxhall in the UK and by Opel in Europe and other overseas markets.

At one point, there were murmurs about the subcompact Adam making it to the US – General Motors' then-CEO Dan Akerson went so far as to publicly wish for its presence in North America. That was understood to be a long shot at the time, and there's no word that the model's fortunes have improved since then. However, the Adam Rocks' faux SUV styling would seem to be a bit more in the wheelhouse of American consumers, and presumably it will offer thicker margins to build a business case around. Even so, we're not going to hold our breath. Instead, we're going to check out the details in the press release below and wait to see the car in person next month.
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ADAM ROCKS READY TO ROLL

- Production-ready ADAM ROCKS debuts at the Geneva Motor Show
- Urban mini-crossover features rugged, outdoor looks and electric folding canvas roof
- First Vauxhall to get punchy new 115PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine

Luton/Geneva– Rocking up to next month's Geneva Motor Show is Vauxhall's funky urban mini-crossover the ADAM ROCKS.

The latest edition to Vauxhall's city chic ADAM range was previewed as a concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and after receiving a rapturous reception the production model is poised to make a show-stopping debut a year later.

Rocking rugged design

Compared with other members of the ADAM family, ROCKS is taller, wider and tougher in appearance, while also offering a full-length electric folding canvas roof.

ADAM ROCKS' new crossover body style is supported by a chassis that is raised 15mm with a wider stance. Agile parkour athletes, who move from one place to another, negotiating urban obstacles in between, were the inspiration for this sporty crossover concept.

Parts of the chassis system have been modified or re-tuned – including dampers, springs, the rear suspension geometry, and steering. The higher, wider looks are matched by a choice of 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. These can be further personalised with new wheel clips in "Wild" design and different colours that are unique to ROCKS.

Protective, anthracite-coloured cladding is wrapped tightly around the ADAM ROCKS, giving it a tough, muscular look. The front trapezoidal grille, with a chrome central brand bar, is embedded in the cladding, while contrasting, satin chrome 'boomerang' elements frame the front fog lamps/indicator housings and the reversing/fog lamps at the rear. An integrated rear roof spoiler and LED daytime running lights also come as standard. Silver skid plates front and rear and a bold chrome exhaust complete the exterior design.

New exterior paint colours will be introduced with ADAM ROCKS, starting with the vibrant yellow Goldbusters.

ROCKS combines its rugged individuality with open air fun. The electric folding canvas roof is operated via a button located in the front area of the headliner and folds back neatly on to the C-pillars in just five seconds. Creating a wide opening into the sky, this stylish system has no negative impact on body stiffness or on the car's functionality: the boot keeps the full opening of a hatchback and loading volume remains untouched.

The entire roof module is acoustically tuned for noise insulation inside the cabin, and the robust, three-layer fabric has a neoprene centre for weatherproofing and durability. The folding canvas roof is available in a choice of three exterior colours – Black, Sweet Coffee or Light Oak – that combine with the different roof colours of the ROCKS.

ROCKS' cabin reverberates with its own distinctive character. Two new, exclusive ROCKS interior trims have been designed. They include a main instrument cluster, seat and door panel colours and other trim elements – all unique to Vauxhall's urban chic newcomer. One trim is taken directly from the ADAM ROCKS concept car revealed last year: it has elegant-sporty Peanut-coloured fabric/Morrocana seats and door panels, leather steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake in the same colour, and a "Surf" décor trim. The other features a sophisticated Coffee Bean design – rich dark brown seats in a black cabin trimmed with bright blue stitching.

New 1.0-litre engine packs triple punch

ROCKS is the first model to feature Vauxhall's all-new 1.0-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo three-cylinder engine. This high-tech pocket rocket raises the bar for three-cylinder engine refinement and packs up to 115PS, with impressive low-end torque of 166 Nm.

Contributing to the overall efficiency of the all-aluminium engine with a single scroll turbocharger include direct injection, variable valve timing, a switchable water pump and an integrated exhaust manifold. Fuel-saving Start/Stop technology is an integral part of the system and offered as standard. The new 1.0 ECOTEC comes with a choice of two power outputs, 90PS and 115PS.

Both versions of the new three-cylinder powerhouse are mated to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox with a compact package design. During its development, focus was on efficiency (thanks to reduced friction) and benchmark shifting: gear change is comfortable, precise and smooth.

The new engine tops a powertrain portfolio including ADAM's three current four-cylinder naturally-aspirated units comprising a 1.2-litre engine with 70PS and a 1.4-litre available in two power outputs, 87PS and 100PS.

Like its ADAM siblings, ROCKS is one of the best connected small cars around thanks to its state-of-the-art Intelilink infotainment system. Priced from just £275, it allows seamless integration of Android as well as Apple iOS smartphone functionalities into the car. It provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, a seven-inch high-definition colour touch-screen and seven speakers. Clever apps including navigation BringGo, Stitcher and TuneIn can be downloaded.

The integration of Apple iOS devices into the system enables Siri Eyes Free voice control. This makes it possible for drivers to have incoming text messages read aloud and to dictate messages while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel.

"ADAM ROCKS combines the toughness of a crossover with the coolness of open air driving," said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall's Head of Carline Brand. "It's the perfect ADAM for active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd."

ADAM ROCKS pricing will be announced when it goes on sale in the summer. Production is due to start in Eisenach, Germany in August.