Mike Stevens | May 9, 2012

Opel has announced that its upcoming upmarket city car will bear the name of its founder, Adam Opel.

Interestingly, Opel says the name is not specifically connected to the carmaker's founder, despite its launching in the year of the brand's 150th anniversary.

The GM-owned brand is looking to its new light hatch as a rival for Fiat's little 500 and the MINI Cooper, marking a move into a more premium space than it currently occupies in the European market.

"We're not interested in putting a small car out just to grow market share," GM Europe boss Nick Reilly said earlier this year.

“The new car will have a premium price for its segment”.

For now, the only glimpses of the new model have come from heavily camouflaged test cars, but Opel describes the Adam as "muscular, fun and cool".

"When a car is so different, it's allowed to challenge the rule," the carmaker's release reads.

Like the Cooper and the 500, the Adam will offer a wide range of personalisation options, which - as the Soul hatch was for Kia - is a new avenue for the German brand.

"We've created a car that you can create a massive bandwith of personality changes with a limited number of components," Opel design chief Mark Adams told reporters at March's Geneva Motor Show.

2013 opel allegra spy photos 08

Opel confirmed earlier this year that the Adam will be powered by a range of naturally-aspirated engines between 1.0 and 1.4 litres in capacity, with either three or four-cylinder layouts.

These new engines will also be among the first Opel powertrains to be fully Euro 6 compliant, and all will feature direct injection.

A pair of 1.6 litre diesel engines are also slated to be introduced post-launch, and an all-electric commuter version has also been rumoured.

 

Australia

With its official unveiling not due until September's Paris Motor Show, it is too early to speculate on an Australian debut.

Speaking with TMR today, Opel Australia PR Manager, Melanie Kerin said that while Opel Australia will look at the possibility of introducing the Adam, it is too soon to confirm plans.

Opel Australia will launch in September with the Insignia, Astra, Astra GTC and Corsa models.

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