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Opel/Vauxhall Corsa E

Wed, 09 Jul 2014

If this fifth-generation Opel Corsa looks familiar, that's because this is more a heavy facelift than an all-new car.
Opel has concentrated efforts on the eight-year old Corsa's mechanicals rather than an all-new bodyshell. Instead every exterior panel has been redesigned, alongside the entire interior.
This is the first Corsa developed under GM Europe's VP of design, Mark Adams and his influence is clear to see, with the incorporation of the lower bodyside 'blade' surface and the pouting mouth of the Adam.
While its proportions and upper body are clearly carried over, the new nose treatment in particular disguises the car's high scuttle thanks to the lower grille, lamps and diving shoulderline. The hood also gains a deeply recessed center surface that visually cheats down its height.
In order to disguise the carryover glass, the rear of the five-door version's DLO now kicks up at the base of the C-pillar rather than running through into the rear, giving a stronger aesthetic. Meanwhile the three-door has sprouted a Peugeot 208-esque extension to its window surround, intended to stretch out its window graphic.

The rear of both versions feature two-part lamps that spill over onto the tailgate, visually widening the car alongside the more horizontal emphasis of the feature lines.
It's difficult to assess from photographs how these changes will alter the character of the car, so we will reserve judgement until it makes its official debut at the Paris motor show in October.
Inside, the new IP also places emphasis on horizontal lines to create a greater feeling of space despite the unchanged dimensions, while the Adam donates much of its switchgear and the 'IntelliLink' 7-inch screen that sits in the center stack. This features the latest connectivity and infotainment software including Apple's Siri Eyes Free, while the car also features advanced safety features such as road sign recognition, blind spot alert and a collision warning system that uses a heads-up projection onto the windscreen.
The strategy of updating, rather than completely renewing, a model in this highly competitive European segment is certainly a risk although undoubtedly one that will be lucrative if it pays off.

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