Opel and Vauxhall have previewed the next-generation Corsa hatchback with an official set of images showing a camouflaged prototype being put through its paces. Set to debut sometime later in 2019, the fifth-gen Corsa is set to move to the PSA Group's 'CMP' modular platform for compact vehicles, which already underpins the new DS 3 Crossback and Peugeot 208...
(first posted 3/9/2012) For those under a certain age, the name Opel Kadett may be as familiar as Richard Speck, The Troggs, or Valley of the Dolls. Yes, 1966 was a long time ago, but that’s when the second generation of Opel’s VW fighter appeared and knocked down the long-time king of the small car hill. VW should thank Opel for that thumping; it really needed the wake up call that resulted in a new world order, spelled: G-O-L-F.
The 1.0 L and 1.2 L Ecotec Family 0 engines are carry overs from the Corsa B; the 1.4 L Family 1 engine was replaced with a new 1.4 L Family 0 model. The 1.8 L Family 1 engine is an upgrade for the previous 1.6 L 16 valve engine and produces 125 PS (92 kW) and 165 N⋅m (122 lb⋅ft) of torque. The edition with the 1.8 L engine was named Corsa GSi and was the predecessor of the new Corsa OPC.
The other reason for the B’s success had to do with GM: once again, after having failed to slow down the VW’s ascent with their 1960-1961 compacts, they were forced to take the small car market seriously. That led eventually to the Vega in 1971, but in the shorter term, it meant marketing the Opel as something other than with which to remodel the garage. Now the Kadett family, which included a new fastback coupe, sedans and wagon, was seen in front of the typical American garage: two Opels for the price of one Buick.
Despite its age, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa was ranked #10 in Europe's best-selling cars top last year. An all-new model is right around the corner and it should help the supermini put up a good fight against other subcompact hatchbacks like the next-gen Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. Today, Opel is releasing some technical details about its revamped five-door-only city car, emphasizing on the diet it’ll be going through for its sixth iteration.
I was too broke for a proper fix so a friend welded a glob of metal to the worn end of the shoe and we ground it flat to make a bigger surface for the brake cylinder piston to hit, then soaked the brake shoe in gas and lit it to burn off the brake fluid! Insane when I think back on it, but probably not the dumbest thing I did in my teenage years, and those brakes lasted several more years!
But that all began to change quickly in the fall of 1965, when the new Kadett B appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. This ad trumpets the Kadett’s doubling of sales in 1966, and taking the number two import spot. That still left a pretty big gap behind VW, but in the next three or four years, the Kadett did enjoy a very profound explosion in the US. There were two main factors: the B was a bit bigger in every dimension, making it a somewhat more palatable for Americans, although it still used the A’s rather archaic transverse leaf-spring front suspension and a torque tube in the back with leaf springs.
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More or less by fait accompli, in the absence of the tools to build the Kadett, Opel found itself in the middle-priced bracket in Germany's postwar auto market, sandwiched between Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. This position was familiar to both GM and Opel, and one in which it did amazingly well. In 1953, output rose above 100,000 units for the first time since the war, and in 1954, when the sprawling plant by the Main River was considered completely rebuilt, 24,270 were employed at Adam Opel AG and 167,650 vehicles were built, an all-time high. Opel actually fully recovered from the consequences of the postwar era.
Styling wise, the Corsa OPC/VXR get more aggressive body kits with new bumpers, aluminium frames for the fog lights, a small scoop in the hood, a big roof spoiler and twin pipe Remus exhaust with a diffuser. Inside, the Recaro performance seats take centre stage, with other upgrades including the flat bottomed leather steering wheel, OPC gear knob and sports pedals along, as well as OPC design instruments.
Compared to the outgoing model, the new Corsa F is going to lose up to 10 percent of weight, translating into a curb weight of just 980 kilograms (2,160 pounds) for the five-door model in its lightest form. That’s up to 108 kg (239 lbs) less than the car it replaces, even though it will have roughly just about the same size. Speaking of which, Opel says the new Corsa will be 4.06 meters (159.8 inches) long.
The Opel Corsa in general and the Corsa “120 Years” in particular show that it is a core brand characteristic to always offer customers more than they expect in the respective vehicle class. The foundation for this was laid at the end of the 19th century by the Opel patent motor car “System Lutzmann”. Its short price list already included two innovative extras: the first was the pneumatic tire, which was invented by Robert William Thomson in 1845, but had not yet found widespread use in automobile production. The second was the optional removable child seat available for the small two-seat motorised coach, whose one-cylinder, 4 hp engine delivered a speed of 30 km/h. This example alone clearly illustrates what Opel has been all about from the very beginning: absolute suitability for everyday use instead of technology as an end in itself.
The Insignia flagship followed exactly the same initiative as the Astra. Once again the Opel engineers’ main objective was efficiency. Thanks to optimized packaging and lightweight materials they could save up to 175kg on the Insignia Grand Sport compared with its predecessor – much to the benefit of dynamics and fuel consumption. Depending on powertrain and equipment, the current Insignia Sports Tourer even weighs up to 200kg less than the similar model variant from the first generation.
Customers and experts are already enthusiastic about the IntelliLux LED® matrix lighting technology in the Opel Insignia flagship and Astra compact cars: in Europe, 20 per cent of Astra drivers and 60 per cent of Insignia customers order this innovative system. Around 90,000 new Opel cars equipped with matrix technology thus enter the European market per year. The glare-free matrix headlights automatically and continuously adapt to the prevailing traffic situation and surroundings. Approaching traffic and preceding vehicles are simply “cut out” of the illuminated area. Glare is minimised and drivers enjoy optimum visibility - as will soon be the case with the new-generation Opel Corsa.
The decklid badge says it's an automatic, but there's a four-speed manual inside. Was it a decklid or transmission swap? Either way, these cars were very, very cheap; the MSRP on a 1967 Kadett two-door sedan was $1,657 (about $12,500 in 2018 dollars), which compared favorably to the $1,639 Volkswagen Beetle that year. The Kadett had 54 hp to the Beetle's 53 (and weighed 93 fewer pounds than the Volks, to boot), so it was a bit quicker. On top of that, it had a heater that worked, plus a design dated a lot later than the late 1930s. Of course, most American car buyers looking for something economical preferred stripped-down versions of "traditional" American cars, e.g., the Chevy II ($2,090), the AMC Rambler American 220 ($2,073) the Ford Falcon ($2,118), or the Plymouth Valiant ($2,017). The Corvair two-door was $2,128 that year, too, and let's not forget the $1,790 Toyota Corona sedan.