New 2019 Vauxhall Corsa previewed in first official image
New Corsa will be offered with fully electric and internal combustion engine options, like the platform-sharing Peugeot 208
It’s the first car produced entirely under the brand’s new owner, the PSA Group, and is a crucial to Vauxhall and Opel’s success given its historic popularity. It will also be both brand’s first model sold with a battery electric variant.
The preview image shows one of the Ford Fiesta rival’s headlights, which feature adaptive beam full-LED tech – claimed to be a segment first. Usually the reserve of premium models, the tech is able to continuously adapt the full beam pattern to stop it causing glare to oncoming traffic.
The Corsa will set the tone for a new wave of Vauxhall/Opel vehicles, each of which will be overhauled thanks to access to new platforms, engines and hardware also used across the group’s other car brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS.
Vauxhall’s new supermini has been developed in an unusually fast time. When it is unveiled in 2019, less than two years will have elapsed since work began, just as the deal to buy Vauxhall/ Opel was being agreed between PSA and General Motors.
The quick turnaround is due to PSA axing the original decision for the next Corsa to be based on GM’s architecture. Once PSA had taken over Vauxhall/Opel, it would have been required to pay a licence fee to GM to use the platform, something boss Carlos Tavares is keen to avoid as he tries to return the brands to profitability by 2020.
Vauxhall/Opel boss Michael Lohscheller has previously told Autocar that the new Corsa “will not be compromised in any way. It’s true that we had a version ready to go, and you can’t just stretch a design to fit a new platform, but the teams have done a fantastic job in record time to ensure that the car is on schedule.”
The new Corsa will be based on PSA’s Common Modular Platform (CMP), a front-engine, front-wheel-drive architecture that will also underpin cars such as the forthcoming new Peugeot 208. The Corsa will also dip into PSA’s engine line-up and is likely to adopt the 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder in a variety of power outputs.
Despite the switch to a new platform, the Corsa Mk6’s dimensions are understood to closely match the outgoing model’s. Vauxhall chose to launch the current Corsa in 2014 with near-identical dimensions to its predecessor because the company felt it was the perfect size wanted by customers. This strategy is expected to continue. The current Corsa is 4021mm long, 1736mm wide and 1479mm tall, dimensions that make it slightly longer and taller, but narrower, than the existing Peugeot 208.
The design of the Corsa was set to be evolutionary before the plan for a GM-derived model was axed. Now, to mark a new era for the model under PSA ownership, the styling promises to mark a departure from what we expect the supermini to look like.
The three-door Corsa will be axed, reflecting an industry trend to discontinue such bodystyles, which are less popular with buyers. Producing only a five-door Corsa will also help Vauxhall/Opel’s drivefor greater efficiency and increased profitability.
Inside, the Corsa will receive PSA’s familiar touchscreen infotainment system, but the overall feel of the interior is expected to be distinct from its French siblings. Vauxhall’s new grille and lights design and all-glass fascia panel, revealed in Autocar last week, are expected to be introduced.
Not long after the debut of the standard Corsa next year, an electric version will be launched, named eCorsa. Although the Peugeot 208 will get an electric variant first, it and the Corsa will be among the select few in the supermini segment to adopt electrified powertrains. Key rivals such as the Ford Fiesta are not expected to go electric for many years yet.
The current Corsa was once the UK’s second-best-selling car but is currently fifth in the sales charts, selling less than half of the Fiesta’s sales total each month. The new version will be built at the Zaragoza plant in Spain.
The price of the new Corsa is expected to rise slightly over today’s £13,575 starting point for the five-door model but still undercut the Peugeot 208.
Source: Autocar Online