Mark Adams on the new Opel Corsa

The new Opel Corsa made its debut today, marking the fifth generation of the nameplate and the first car developed under GM Europe’s Vice President of Design Mark Adams.

Developing an all-new model is a costly process — while the new Corsa is based on an all-new chassis and significantly revised powertains, the new car retains the same proportions as its predecessor and ulilizes the same glass elements. Even the roofline is identical to the outgoing, eight year old design.

Both three-door and five-door models will be cloaked in all-new body panels, however. The fifth generation model carries forward Opel’s ‘Sculptural Artistry’ design language — first seen on the Insignia — which incorporates the brand’s winged headlamp and taillamp units as well as the sculpted blade on the bodyside, an Opel signature element.

The new concave surface on the hood gives the car sculptural quality, says Adams, though it also serves to visually enhance what would otherwise be a vast stagnant surface and lowers the overall perceived height of the front end. It’ll be interesting to see what the base of the hood looks like after the car’s been subjected to sitting in inclement weather for a few days.

Besides the blade rising forward through the door, the bodyside has also gained newfound athleticism thanks to a more defined shoulderline which, combined with the inward tapering of the cabin, is accentuated to add definition to the subtle rear haunch. On five-door models, the beltline rises sharply at the C-pillar to join with the upper rear screen line, while a simple black cheater panel adorns the C-pillar on three-door models to visually extend the DLO for a sportier appearance.

At the rear, the taillamps are nearly identical to that of the larger Astra, though with a greater three-dimensional quality. The lamps actually protrude from the body and surrounding surface, lending an a more modern aesthetic all while keeping the consistency of design well in the family.

The familial feel is also readily apparent in the Corsa’s interior, which has been designed to visually enhance interior spaciousness all whilst retaining the outgoing model’s dimensions. The contrast-colored IP, brushed aluminum trim panel and 7-inch color touchscreen within the center stack all serve to optically enhance the width of the car.

Featuring GM’s IntelliLink system, the new Corsa’s infotainment unit is compatible with Apple and Android devices and can be operated by voice command, Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free. Several apps are available — such as BringGo for navigation and Stitcher and TuneIn for internet radio and podcasts — and there is a practical FlexDock parking and charging station for smartphones.

A number of driver assistance systems — such as Blind Spot Alert; Road Sign Recognition; Advanced Park Assist; Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Warning (which uses a head-up display to alert the driver) — will also be available, many of which are a first for this vehicle class.

The new Opel Corsa will be officially revealed at the Paris motor show in October.


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