PARIS -- General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall unit hopes its heavily reworked Corsa hatchback will remain a best seller for the money-losing carmaker, despite the fact that the subcompact is still using an older platform.
The Corsa rolls off the assembly lines in Eisenach, Germany, and Zaragoza, Spain, at the end of this year, but it can already be ordered in Germany starting at an entry-level price of 11,980 euros including tax for the three-door version, while the five-door model costs an extra 750 euros on top.
"I am confident the new fifth generation, with its new level of comfort, its modern driver assistance and infotainment systems, will continue the model's exemplary success," Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said Wednesday ahead of the car's debut at the Paris auto show.
Opel and its UK sister brand, Vauxhall, have a lot riding on the new Corsa subcompact. The Corsa is Opel's No. 1-selling model in Europe with 165,000 sold in the first eight months of this year, according to JATO Dynamics, and the company says the hatchback is currently No. 4 in the subcompact segment in western Europe.
A success could help ensure the division's goal of returning to profit by 2016.
The Corsa is still based on a joint GM-Fiat platform that stems from their failed alliance from early last decade, but Opel said the new Corsa's chassis doesn’t share a single component with the current model and also has a completely new electrical architecture. It also comes equipped with new transmissions, which includes its next-generation Easytronic 3.0 automated gearbox that combines affordability with the comfort of an automatic.
Opel says the new 1.0-liter Ecotec direct-injection turbo that can be ordered with the car was designed from a clean sheet of paper and, unlike noisier Opel engines in the past, has exceptionally low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics. The 66 kilowatt three-cylinder fully aluminum gasoline engine consumes on average 4.3 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers and emits 102 grams of CO2 per km
Opel hopes that a fresh design, as well as new, more frugal engines, an upgraded interior, better connectivity and new safety systems will keep the Corsa competitive until the next generation launches in 2018.
This model will be on a GM small-car platform after GM dropped plans to use a PSA/Peugeot-Citroen architecture, which will underpin the next-generation Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3.
“With the fifth-generation Corsa, we want to offer a new driving experience in this vehicle class in terms of pleasure, comfort and safety,” Neumann said. “This is why our best seller is coming onto the market with so many technologies."