Replacing the fourth-generation Corsa, now nearly nine years old, this new model will make its European showroom debut in January.
Practical five- and sporty three-door body styles will again be offered, powered by petrol and diesel engines mated to six-speed manual and auto transmissions.
Styling sees the new Corsa evolving the overall look of the outgoing model, and that’s by design: Vauxhall alone has sold nearly 85,000 Corsa hatches over the past few years, and the company says that buyer feedback suggested that staying close to the shape and look of the current model would be wise.
There’s another reason the two generations are so similar in dimension and design, and that is that the old model’s platform has carried over into the new model.
However, GM Europe design boss Mark Adams says that every exterior panel is new, with much of the inspiration coming from his earlier work with the Opel Adam (named for Opel founder Adam Opel, not for Adams himself).
Among the more standout styling features that set this new Corsa apart from its predecessor are the hooked headlights and Astra-inspired tail-lights, along with the new trapezoidal grille design and sculpted ‘blade’ door lines.
The interior is likewise all-new, showcasing a more premium look that is dominated by a large seven-inch display, three-spoke sports steering wheel and a flood of satin and gloss-black highlights.
Under the skin is a revised version of the SCCS platform that underpins the outgoing model (along with a number of new and old Fiat Chrysler models), boasting a number of changes for improved ride and handling.
There’s a reinforced and stiffened sub-frame and new front suspension geometry, along with new speed-sensitive electric steering.
And, depending on the model, new comfort- or sport-focused suspension setups will feature.
Headlining the 2015 Corsa’s engine range is GM’s new 1.0 litre three-cylinder Ecotec engine, available in 66 and 84kW tunes, each with 170Nm of torque.
A 51kW non-turbo 1.2 litre petrol engine will be the entry unit, along with a pair of 66kW non-turbo and 73kW turbo 1.4 engines.
A six-speed manual is standard, and a six-speed auto will be offered as an option.
Diesel options will include GM’s updated 1.3 litre engine, available in 55 and 70kW tunes.
Opel OPC and Vauxhall VXR hot-hatch versions are also expected, although official details on those are still to come.
Reports out of Europe, however, suggest that we can expect a 147kW version of the company’s turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6 litre engine - putting the new performer on par with Renault’s Clio RS and Peugeot’s 206 GTi.
There remains no word on the new Corsa’s potential for an Australian launch, despite the recent reappearance of its Astra and Insignia siblings in sports trims.
That could offer a key hint for the new Corsa’s local positioning, however.
Watch this space.
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