VAUXHALL HAS revealed a new generation of its Corsa supermini, ahead of it going on sale in January. The new model will be expected to improve its appeal and sales, as Vauxhall seeks to tempt drivers away from the Ford Fiesta, the best-selling car in the UK and the Corsa’s main competitor.
The car is critical to the performance of Vauxhall; last year, the Corsa was the fourth best-selling car in Britain, but sales slipped by over 5,000 cars (nearly six per cent). Highlights for the fourth generation Corsa include improved levels of technology, such as a range of navigation of audio apps or Siri Eyes Free, a voice recognition system, a revised chassis which is claimed to deliver a much-improved driving experience and a new 1-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine.
Although based on the old Corsa’s platform, Vauxhall says the car has new suspension and a power steering system featuring a City mode which increases the steering assistance. Vauxhall’s objective is to make the new Corsa offer the ride comfort of a Volkswagen Polo and the responsive roadholding of a Ford Fiesta.
Features more commonly found on luxury cars will be made available to buyers of the Corsa. They include full-length panoramic sunroof and interior mood lighting, and a winter pack consisting of heated front seats, steering wheel and windscreen. Safety equipment will include a blindspot alert system, automatic highbeam operation for the headlamps, a lane-departure warning programme and a rear-view camera.
The Corsa’s design may not be the last word in high fashion but its conservative approach has never held back its popularity with car buyers. The cabin is also new but far from daring, and Vauxhall says there is no improvement in interior space – the result of having to use the old model’s platform to build the car to a budget.
It will make its public debut at the Paris motor show in October. The three door model will be built in Germany, the five-door version will be made in Spain. Prices and equipment levels are still to be announced, but don’t expect the cost to vary wildly from the current model’s level of £9,000 to £19,000.