THESE are the first official shots of Vauxhall’s Corsa, sporting its fresh new face, trims and colours ready for delivery to first UK customers in February next year.
The Corsa, Vauxhall’s second best-selling model after the Astra, and a near-permanent fixture in the UK’s top-three best sellers’ list, has now adopted many of the premium styling cues from other recently launched Vauxhalls, such as the Insignia, Astra and Meriva.
Styled by Niels Loeb, Vauxhall/Opel’s Chief Exterior Designer working in Brit, Mark Adams’ design team, the new Corsa features a signature chrome bar, carrying the new Griffin badge, stretching across the front grille, while a re-styled front bumper with a more prominent, wider lower grille gives the Corsa a smiling appearance.
Framing the Corsa’s new face are ‘Eagle-Eye’ headlamps, which have also made an appearance on the recently launched Meriva. The units have a chrome finish and include daytime running lights as standard across the range. New chrome-finished fog lamps and housings complete the picture at the front of the car.
Complementing the Corsa’s fresh look are five new exterior colours in the range. Lime Green pearlescent and Chilli Orange metallic enhance the car’s new look, with Guacamole — a solid hue — completing the pallet of all-new Vauxhall colours. Sunny Melon (a bright yellow) makes a welcome return to the Corsa range, while Pepperdust metallic is carried across from the new Meriva range.
Vibrant new colours also dominate the Corsa’s cabin, with seat trims such as Steel Blue and Tabasco Orange brightening the interior, accompanied by a range of different coloured door trims, centre consoles, air vent rings and door handles.
Also inside, is Vauxhall’s new optional Touch & Connect multi-media system, which replaces the existing CD60 unit. Touch & Connect uses a five-inch touch screen display featuring both 2D and 3D maps for the navigation system, as well as a CD/tuner, aux-in, USB and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity.
Outside, the new Corsa benefits from new 16-inch alloy wheels on both SE and SXi models, while the 192PS VXR receives the option of a new 18-inch alloy wheel, modelled on the design of the optional 20-inch wheel worn by the Insignia VXR.
With its fresh new look, the Corsa is now a very different car to the one on sale a year ago. Before the latest exterior and interior design changes were made, the Corsa had already benefited from a long list of significant upgrades to its chassis and powertrains. For example, certain ecoFLEX engines now feature Vauxhall’s Start/Stop technology, which has reduced emissions on the 1.3 CDTi (95PS) ecoFLEX model to just 94g/km, combined with fuel consumption of 91.1mpg on the government’s extra urban cycle (78.5mpg combined).
To maintain its success in the small-car class, Vauxhall’s engineers also made important revisions to the car’s steering and suspension set-ups. Softer springs were employed in the front suspension, mated to an anti-roll bar with new bushes and an increased diameter, improving ride and control characteristics.
Complementing this were revised damper settings all round, an optional re-tuned ESP system and enhanced steering geometry, ensuring that the Corsa remained as pleasurable to drive as it was economical to own.
The new Corsa range starts at £9,995, based on 2011’s 20 per cent VAT rate. However, setting aside the 2.5 per cent VAT increase, which will apply to all cars from January 4, new Corsa prices have only risen by between £60 and £75, depending upon model and, reflecting the exterior and cabin enhancements on all models in the range.