Electric Vauxhall Corsa-E is lighter and efficient — and as British as a bacon sarnie

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.

The Corsa has topped the charts — ­alongside the Ford Fiesta — every month for 26 years. Since Britpop in the early Nineties.

The Vauxhall Corsa has topped the charts every month for 26 years
Vauxhall Motors

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.

The Corsa comes in petrol, diesel and fully electric
Vauxhall Motors

Now let’s start by answering your most obvious question first.

How much?

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.

The price of the car starts from £15,000
Vauxhall Motors
The new Corsa is quieter and more sophisticated than previous models
Vauxhall Motors

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.

The new Corsa is the smallest Vauxhall you can buy
charliemagee.com
Vauxhall is sticking with a 100hp 1.5-litre diesel
charliemagee.com

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.

First drive

Key facts:

VAUXHALL CORSA-E

  • 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

And this lot need a plug too

The Grandland X PHEV will be available  later this year
Opel Automobile GmbH

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.

Vivaro
The Vivaro van will be all-electric
The Mokka X will use the same innards as Corsa,

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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