Across four generations spanning 32 years, almost 12 million Corsas have been sold in Europe. Let's have a look what has changed.
New chassis and new steering
The top priority for the Opel engineering development team was to provide Corsa customers with a driving experience comparable to larger, more expensive cars in terms of comfort and precision. New chassis and steering systems provide the foundation. The chassis does not inherit a single component from the current Corsa. Straight line and cornering stability is increased thanks to a 5 millimeter lower center of gravity, a stiffer sub-frame, a new suspension geometry including a new front knuckle. Roll behavior, steering response and understeer characteristics are all improved. New damping characteristics also give the fifth-generation Corsa better filtration of disturbances from potholes and uneven road surfaces, providing exemplary comfort in a small car.
The development of a completely new electrical architecture for the fifth generation Corsa enables a more sophisticated level of interaction between its various systems. Together with a new steering geometry and steering software calibration, this enhanced system benefits the new, speed-sensitive electric power steering: it has a more precise response and improves both driving pleasure and comfort. A new standard feature in all Corsa models that allows reducing steering effort at low speeds, the City mode is easily activated at the press of a button.
As for the current Corsa, customers can choose between two chassis set-ups, Comfort and Sport. The Sport chassis has stiffer springs and shock absorbers as well as a specific steering geometry and calibration for a more direct response.
Latest generation 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo
The highlight under the hood of the new so-called “Corsa E” of the fifth generation is the installation of Opel’s newly-developed three-cylinder, 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, part of the brand’s major powertrain offensive. This ultra-modern pocket powerhouse is the only 1,0-liter three-cylinder production engine with a balance shaft, which enables it set a new class benchmark for exceptionally low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics, as well as high driving comfort. The compact, all-aluminum 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, which of course already meets Euro 6 emission standards, is available in two output configurations, giving 66 kW/90 hp or 85 kW/115 hp. Both shine with excellent responsiveness and strong low-end torque, pumping out 170 Nm (125 lb-ft) from just 1,800 rpm. Opel’s new, small-displacement three-cylinder engine is fitted with Start/Stop technology as standard.
The introduction of new transmissions also contributes to the enhanced driving experience and improvement in efficiency. Both versions of the 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo are mated to an all-new, compact six-speed manual gearbox. Highlights include greater efficiency, thanks to low friction design and a precise shift feel. Changing gears in the new Corsa is comfortable and smooth, as well as fast and precise. With the launch of the new Corsa, Opel also offers its newest-generation six-speed automatic transmission, as well as the completely new Easytronic 3.0 automated manual transmission giving enhanced, smoother responsiveness – the perfect way to affordably combine the comfort of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual.
IntelliLink and driver assistance systems
Cleanly designed, the cabin of the new Corsa is organized around an eye-catching driver control center whose instrument panel fascia is designed around horizontal lines that optically enhance the generous interior spaciousness. The IntelliLink system’s 7-inch color touchscreen is ideally located on the center stack, close to the gear shift. This allows the driver’s hand to swiftly and naturally move between the transmission control and the touchscreen. The new Corsa’s state-of-the-art infotainment system offers best connectivity opportunities, is compatible with Apple and Android devices and can be operated by voice command. Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free can also be used. Several apps are available such as BringGo for navigation, as well as Stitcher and TuneIn for internet radio and podcasts, and there is a practical FlexDock parking and charging station for smartphones.
The new Corsa introduces a host of driver assistance systems, many of which are unrivalled in its vehicle class. Safety is increased thanks to new systems that are all available in the Corsa for the first time – such as bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light, the Side Blind Spot Alert and the Opel Eye front camera with Road Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Warning. To provide maximum safety, Forward Collision Alert uses a red, head-up warning that is projected into the windscreen. In addition, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System display warns the driver in the event of excessive pressure loss in one of the tires.
Driving comfort is also improved by the Advanced Park Assist that automatically steers during parking maneuvers, as well as by the Rear View Camera and the Hill Start Assist. The steering wheel, front seats and now the windshield can all be heated to provide cozy warmth in the cabin and good visibility on cold days. The high-class interior features finely sculpted front seats boasting superb workmanship, a large panorama roof, and pleasant ambient lighting, which lends the cabin a warm, welcoming atmosphere.