WHATEVER your team, whatever your music, whatever you think of Brexit, we all agree on one thing. A new Vauxhall Corsa is a big deal for Britain.
It feels as British as a bacon sarnie with a blob of HP Sauce.
Well, this right here my friends is the very much improved 2019 Corsa and it’ll come in three flavours — petrol, diesel and fully electric.
I wasn’t supposed to share these pictures until next week but some smart arse leaked them on the internet so now I can.
The camouflaged pictures show me testing prototypes in Germany earlier this month.
Now let’s start by answering your most obvious question first.
From £15,000 when the petrol Corsa hits showrooms in November, and not far off double that for the battery-powered Corsa-e being readied for early 2020.
Not only will it replace the current car but also the Viva and Adam — making it the smallest Vauxhall you can buy.
Yes, very. Like night and day compared to the current car and I can say that with 100 per cent authority as I drove them back to back.
The improvements are down to French owner PSA giving Vauxhall the same ingredients as the new Peugeot 208 and DS 3 Crossback.
So, the new Corsa is ten per cent lighter. Which is good for agility and efficiency. Stiffer. Which means it rolls less and has a smarter turn-in. And you sit lower, which pleases me but won’t suit everyone.
It’s also quieter and more sophisticated and has a bigger and wider boot, up 24 litres to 309.
The chassis is still not as sorted as a Fiesta, it must be said — nothing drives as sweetly as that for the money — but it’s right up there with the VW Polo.
As for engines, I’d nudge you towards the three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbo petrol with eight-speed paddleshift auto.
That’s smooth and easy to live with around town and yet alert and torquey for a quick squirt down the bypass.
Just don’t expect it to set your pants on fire because it won’t. It’s 100hp. The current car is also 100hp but that’s a 1.4, this is 1.2.
Vauxhall is also sticking with a 100hp 1.5-litre diesel but unless you do more than 15,000 miles a year I wouldn’t bother.
Other observations: Five-door only. Comfy seats. Touchscreen. Apple CarPlay. All sorts of camera-based driver aids. Fancy Matrix LED headlights.
And there was one other thing I circled in my notes: The engineering chief is a German guy called Thomas Wanke.
Thankfully, his car isn’t.
Good job, Vauxhall.
- Price: £28,000
- Battery: 50kWh
- Power: 136hp, 260Nm
- 0-62mph: 8.1 secs
- Top speed: 93mph
- Range: 180miles
- Charge time: 80% in 30mins
- Out: Early 2020
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And this lot need a plug too
VAUXHALL will have six all-electric models by 2021: Corsa, Mokka X, Vivaro van, Vivaro Life people carrier, Combo van and Combo Life.
The Mokka X – previewed as the GTX Concept, – will use the same innards as Corsa, meaning a 50kWh battery pack and a range of around 180 miles. It launches next summer alongside the zero-emission Vivaro.
The Combo follows soon after.
Before all that, the Grandland X will be available later this year as a plug-in hybrid. That’s your stepping stone to electric cars as it combines a 1.6-litre turbo petrol with a small 13.2kWh battery.
Vauxhall quotes 128mpg – yes, really – just 49g/km CO2 and a pure electric range of 30 miles. It’s also 4WD and 300hp so it’ll be rapid too.
With a wallbox at home, the battery fully charges in two hours.
Vauxhall has said that every model will be electrified by 2024.
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