Though its brand portfolio may have shrunk in recent years with the loss of Oldsmobile, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer, General Motors still sells its wares around the world under a wide array of brands: Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC in its home market, Holden in Australia, and a whole mess of joint-venture brands in China. In Europe, however, it's all about Opel, with Vauxhall tackling the UK market with a nearly identical product lineup but a different badge. And it's those two brands through which GM has just revealed its new Euro-centric hatchback.
Representing the fifth-generation model for Opel and the fourth for Vauxhall (which badged the first-gen model as a Nova) is this new Corsa, replacing a now eight-year-old model. Set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October, the Corsa represents GM's assault at the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo in the European market and slots into both brands' lineups in between the smaller Adam and the larger Astra.
It's based on a heavily revised version of the GM-Fiat Small platform that underpinned the model it replaces, not to mention a variety of other products from Opel, Vauxhall, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Power options center around a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that uses a balance shaft (unique among three-cylinder engines) to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, as well as a turbocharger, direct injection and stop/start ignition to maximize output and efficiency. It'll be available in either 90- or 115-horsepower guises, and is joined by a 1.2- and 1.4-liter fours as well as a 1.3-lier diesel. Buyers will also be able to choose between three- and five-door body-styles, with design cues obviously borrowed from the more stylish Adam city car.
As the latest product from one of the world's largest automakers, the new Corsa also naturally benefits from the latest technologies inside the cabin and under the hood, details of which you can delve into in the pair of press releases under the videos below.
Related Gallery2015 Opel Corsa
Opel Reveals Fifth-Generation Corsa
- New drive: New chassis, new generation engine and transmission technology
- New standard: High quality interior with IntelliLink and host of assistance systems
- World premiere: Opel's bestseller to debut in October at Paris Motor Show
Rüsselsheim. Opel today reveals the new, fifth generation of the Corsa. Opel's bestseller aims to offer a new driving experience in the small-car market segment by raising the bar for chassis, engine and gearbox performance. The new, refined and efficient 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo engines, smooth-shifting transmissions, the new suspension and optimized steering deliver class-leading levels of comfort and precision. The new Corsa also comes with a totally new interior that enhances the perception of high quality and spaciousness, including best-connected IntelliLink infotainment technology and ultra-modern driver assistance systems. Opel's designers have also given the new Corsa a dynamic shape in line with the brand's design philosophy, introducing flowing, sculptural forms and precise detailing. The new Corsa is equipped with everything required to ensure continuation of 32 years of success in a highly competitive market segment. The fifth generation of Opel's bestseller will make its world premiere at the "Mondial de l'Automobile 2014" in Paris (October 4 to 19), rolling off the assembly lines in Zaragoza and Eisenach before the end of the year.
"The Opel Corsa has always been widely praised, particularly for its appealing looks and an efficient use of space within compact dimensions," says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. "This has been a decisive factor in the model's enduring popularity, and we are, of course, carrying this core appeal forward in the new generation. Thanks to many new technologies, we are also offering a fantastic driving experience, which raises the standard in this vehicle class. The fifth Corsa generation will be full of surprises."
Recipe for success: Youthful design and generous space in compact dimensions
Across four generations spanning 32 years, almost 12 million Corsas have been sold in Europe, including 2.8 million from the current fourth generation. With average yearly sales of 370,000 units, the Opel Corsa is one of the most enduringly popular models in its segment. A key to its success is outstanding space efficiency: within a compact length of 4 meters, Opel's bestseller offers plenty of room for up to five occupants – in both family-friendly, five-door and dynamic, sporty three-door body formats. At the same time, the Corsa's exterior design conveys practicality and strong, stand-out appeal with its youthful, dynamic looks. The new Corsa generation now seamlessly carries forward this recipe for success – while being radically different. Its exterior design is fresher, more sophisticated and has even more character. The bold face is characterized by the "wing" shaped headlights incorporating Opel's signature "wing" LED daytime running lights and the low sporty trapezoidal grille, with its dynamic bar supporting the Opel emblem. The sculptured body sides feature Opel's typical dynamic "blade" body signature. At the rear end the wide horizontal split tail lights help to visually widen the car and flow through to the rear shoulders, giving it an even better stance. But it's when you sit in the new Corsa and drive it that the change is the most apparent. The completely new cabin featuring clear, elongated shapes and a mix of sophisticated materials, together with the substantially more comfortable chassis, sharper steering, all-new powertrains and significantly lower noise levels all combine to ensure a completely new driving experience.
Absolute precision: New chassis and new steering for highest driving stability
The top priority for the Opel engineering development team was to provide Corsa customers with a driving experience comparable to larger, more expensive cars in terms of comfort and precision. New chassis and steering systems provide the foundation. The chassis does not inherit a single component from the current Corsa. Straight line and cornering stability is increased thanks to a 5 millimeter lower center of gravity, a stiffer sub-frame, a new suspension geometry including a new front knuckle. Roll behavior, steering response and understeer characteristics are all improved. New damping characteristics also give the fifth-generation Corsa better filtration of disturbances from potholes and uneven road surfaces, providing exemplary comfort in a small car.
The development of a completely new electrical architecture for the fifth generation Corsa enables a more sophisticated level of interaction between its various systems. Together with a new steering geometry and steering software calibration, this enhanced system benefits the new, speed-sensitive electric power steering: it has a more precise response and improves both driving pleasure and comfort. A new standard feature in all Corsa models that allows reducing steering effort at low speeds, the City mode is easily activated at the press of a button.
As for the current Corsa, customers can choose between two chassis set-ups, Comfort and Sport. The Sport chassis has stiffer springs and shock absorbers as well as a specific steering geometry and calibration for a more direct response.
Engine highlight: Latest generation 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo
The highlight under the hood of the new so-called "Corsa E" of the fifth generation is the installation of Opel's newly-developed three-cylinder, 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, part of the brand's major powertrain offensive. This ultra-modern pocket powerhouse is the only 1,0-liter three-cylinder production engine with a balance shaft, which enables it set a new class benchmark for exceptionally low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics, as well as high driving comfort. The compact, all-aluminum 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, which of course already meets Euro 6 emission standards, is available in two output configurations, giving 66 kW/90 hp or 85 kW/115 hp. Both shine with excellent responsiveness and strong low-end torque, pumping out 170 Nm from just 1,800 rpm. Opel's new, small-displacement three-cylinder engine is fitted with Start/Stop technology as standard.
The new Corsa's gasoline powertrain line-up is also extended with the introduction of a new 74 kW/100 hp 1.4-liter turbo engine with 200 Nm maximum torque, as well as further developed, Euro 6 compliant 1.2 and 1.4-liter naturally-aspirated units. In addition, completely revised, more refined and now also Euro 6 compliant 1.3 CDTI engines with 55 kW/75 hp and 70 kW/95 hp expand the Corsa offer on the diesel side. At launch, the most frugal Corsa version – with 70 kW/95 hp, 5-speed manual transmission and Start/Stop – emits just 89 g/km CO2. Additional low emission variants will follow as soon as next spring.
But it is not just completely new and further developed engines that make driving the new Corsa even more fun and comfortable. The introduction of new transmissions also contributes to the enhanced driving experience and improvement in efficiency. Both versions of the 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo are mated to an all-new, compact six-speed manual gearbox. Highlights include greater efficiency, thanks to low friction design and a precise shift feel. Changing gears in the new Corsa is comfortable and smooth, as well as fast and precise. With the launch of the new Corsa, Opel also offers its newest-generation six-speed automatic transmission, as well as the completely new Easytronic 3.0 automated manual transmission giving enhanced, smoother responsiveness – the perfect way to affordably combine the comfort of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual.
Best connectivity with top safety: IntelliLink and driver assistance systems
Cleanly designed, the cabin of the new Corsa is organized around an eye-catching driver control center whose instrument panel fascia is designed around horizontal lines that optically enhance the generous interior spaciousness. The IntelliLink system's 7-inch color touchscreen is ideally located on the center stack, close to the gear shift. This allows the driver's hand to swiftly and naturally move between the transmission control and the touchscreen. The new Corsa's state-of-the-art infotainment system offers best connectivity opportunities, is compatible with Apple and Android devices and can be operated by voice command. Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free can also be used. Several apps are available such as BringGo for navigation, as well as Stitcher and TuneIn for internet radio and podcasts, and there is a practical FlexDock parking and charging station for smartphones.
The new Corsa introduces a host of driver assistance systems, many of which are unrivalled in its vehicle class. Safety is increased thanks to new systems that are all available in the Corsa for the first time – such as bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light, the Side Blind Spot Alert and the Opel Eye front camera with Road Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Warning. To provide maximum safety, Forward Collision Alert uses a red, head-up warning that is projected into the windscreen. In addition, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System display warns the driver in the event of excessive pressure loss in one of the tires.
Driving comfort is also improved by the Advanced Park Assist that automatically steers during parking maneuvers, as well as by the Rear View Camera and the Hill Start Assist. The steering wheel, front seats and now the windshield can all be heated to provide cozy warmth in the cabin and good visibility on cold days. The high-class interior features finely sculpted front seats boasting superb workmanship, a large panorama roof, and pleasant ambient lighting, which lends the cabin a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
And for active sportsmen and women, the new Corsa's characteristic rear end optionally integrates the practical FlexFix bicycle carrier, which is exclusively offered by Opel.
VAUXHALL REVEALS FOURTH-GENERATION CORSA
- First official pictures of New Corsa ahead of late-2014 launch
- New engines, transmissions and engine technology
- New interior with IntelliLink
- Set for unveil at Paris Show, October 4-19
Luton – These are the first images of Vauxhall's Fourth-Generation Corsa, which will reach production later this year and is set to raise the class benchmark for driveability, comfort and practicality in a model which has become a household name for British small-car buyers.
Still one the UK's top-selling and best-loved cars, the current model continues to garner affection from its owners thanks to its perfect combination of compact exterior dimensions and clever use of cabin space – major considerations when the new car was conceived.
As a result, the new, Fourth-Generation Corsa is near-identical in length to the current model and retains its enviable space utilisation for occupants.
But almost every other element of its design and engineering has changed, significantly improving the car's driveability, efficiency, connectivity and overall ownership experience.
All of the car's body panels are new, and provide greater definition between the 'sporty' look of the three-door and the 'premium' five-door models. For the first time on a Corsa the car's striking profile has been overlaid with Brit Mark Adams' sculptural design, including elements such as the 'blade' running across the lower door-sections.
Almost every element of the Corsa's generous cabin is completely new, including a completely re-designed instrument panel and dashboard, and greatly improved levels of functionality, highlighted by Vauxhall's sophisticated IntelliLink system – its first use in a high-volume application.
Under the bonnet, new engines and transmissions will be available from launch. A 1.0-litre, three-cylinder ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo – just one of a raft of new engines from Vauxhall's new powertrain offensive – will headline in the petrol offerings, while a much improved 1.3 CDTi, which meets stringent Euro-6 regulations, will appeal to diesel buyers.
Improved driveability to class-leading standards has been a key goal during the New Corsa's development, and to achieve this it has a completely re-designed chassis, with no carry-over componentry, and an emphasis on exceptional rolling refinement, ride quality, precise handling and stability.
'Corsa remains the best-selling car in Vauxhall's range, which is testament to the continued appeal of the current model to UK buyers, supported by a raft of innovative sales programmes that make the car even more enticing,' said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. 'So New Corsa has its work cut out – both as a worthy replacement for the existing car later this year, and as a new challenger in a highly competitive class. We're confident that it will jump both hurdles with ease.'
Corsa and the UK market
Currently in its third generation, the Corsa has been Vauxhall's best-selling car for many years, generally sitting at number two in the overall passenger car sales charts. However, its popularity in Scotland and Northern Ireland has blossomed over the years, where it tops the overall sales charts, while being Scotland's best-selling car for the last five full years.
And there's no sign that sales are slowing. In its last full year, Vauxhall sold 83,000 Corsas in the UK, outstripping total full-range sales of manufacturers like SEAT, Skoda, Renault and Citroen. Such is its popularity, that the UK is now the lead market for Corsa by a large margin (Germany was the second biggest market in 2013 with around 50,000 sales).
Taking Europe as a whole, Corsa is the second most popular nameplate across the continent after 32 years in the market. During that time, over 12 million have been sold, or an average of 370,000 cars each year.
Research conducted by Vauxhall has found that the following qualities repeatedly lead buyers to current Corsa:
- Compact 4m length, for ease of manoeuvring
- A generous and well-packaged interior which belies its exterior dimensions
- Youthful and dynamic looks
- Familiarity with appearance and positive association with 'Corsa' name
So the challenge with the Fourth-Generation model has been to retain these assets and build on them in terms of the car's driveability and interior design/functionality.
New Corsa = New Chassis
A completely re-designed chassis underpins every New Corsa, with no carry-over components from the current model, and all-new suspension components.
The new car has a 5mm lower centre of gravity, aiding stability and roll characteristics, while a reinforced, stiffer front sub-frame and new front suspension geometry, including new knuckle joints, give drivers more taught and precise handling.
New speed-sensitive electric power steering – which incorporates a City mode for low-speed manoeuvring and parking – receives a specific UK tune to cater for our unique and challenging topography. Understeer has been reined in and friction dialled out of the system, allowing drivers a smoother, yet more precise command of the car's steering.
Improvements have also been made to damper characteristics, for both Comfort and Sport set ups, raising the bar for ride comfort and rolling refinement within the Corsa's class. The new car's rear suspension has also been re-tuned to allow better straight-line and cornering stability.
Complementing New Corsa's chassis hardware, are a plethora of driver safety systems made possible by a new electrical architecture. These include: Hill Start Assist, Automatic Park Assist (the car will self-steer into a parking place), and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Powertrains – new engines and transmissions for greater efficiency and driveability
The highlight of the New Corsa's engine line-up will be the fresh-to-market 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo petrol. Part of Vauxhall's major powertrain offensive, which is rapidly gaining traction within the market, the compact 'triple' is the only production three-cylinder engine on the market with a balancer shaft, making it especially smooth and resonance-free and a class benchmark for reduced NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness).
Meeting the latest stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations, the ECOTEC will be available with either 90PS or 115PS outputs, each of which achieves 170Nm of torque from just 1,800rpm. While final fuel consumption data will be announced later this year, when combined with a Start/Stop system, emissions and fuel consumption are expected to be exceptionally low for a petrol engine.
A new version of Vauxhall's 1.4 turbo engine will also launch with New Corsa. Designed for maximum fuel efficiency, but with strong mid-range performance, the new unit produces 100PS and 200Nm of torque. Two naturally aspirated petrol engines – a 1.2- and a 1.4-litre – have been revised and adapted to suit the new car. Significant improvements to the current Corsa's 1.3 CDTi diesel engine have been made to bring it up to Euro 6 emissions standards for the new model.
Two new six-speed gearboxes – a manual and an automatic – are available with New Corsa, with improved shift quality and providing greater overall efficiency.
New cabin design combines new levels of quality, functionality and connectivity
While the basic dimensions of the New Corsa's cabin remain largely the same, almost everything that sits in it has been re-designed.
A new driver control centre takes pride of place within the newly-designed instrument panel, which is themed around horizontal lines. The New Corsa is also the first high-volume Vauxhall to be available with IntelliLink, the innovative communications system which has already been seen in the ADAM model.
IntelliLink operates through a 7-inch colour touchscreen, and can be controlled via apps such as BringGo (for navigation), Stitcher and TuneIn (for global radio channels and internet podcasts). The system is compatible with both Apple and Android 'phones, and incorporates additional features, such as voice command, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free and FlexDock, an area for locating/charging your mobile phone.
In its fifth generation, Corsa has never been so well served for driver comfort and safety. The new model will be available with heated front seats, steering wheel and windscreen, as well as soft-tone ambient lighting and a full-size panoramic roof, taking the car's equipment levels into the premium segment of its class.
New safety systems also proliferate. Buyers can choose from a list including Side Blindspot Alert, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, bi-xenon lights and a rear-view camera.
More details about New Corsa, including full pricing, will be revealed later in the year.