VAUXHALL’S ambition in 2015 is to overtake their arch rival Ford to become the UK’s No 1 car manufacturer and the car that could help them achieve this objective is the all new Corsa supermini that goes on sale in January writes Bryan Longworth.
The latest Corsa which is priced from £8,995 on the road resembles the outgoing model and has the same dimensions and basic shape but every element in the car is new and it will be available with three or five doors.
However, Vauxhall’s stylists have done an excellent job with new Corsa particularly up front where the new supermini has an Adam type trapezoidal grille that helps to provide it with plenty of street appeal and a new identity.
Corsa has been Vauxhall’s best selling car for many years and has been No 2 in the UK sales charts behind the Fiesta selling 83,000 in its last full year outstripping the total full range sales of manufacturers like Seat, Skoda, Renault and Citroen making the UK the best market in Europe for Corsa.
Ford’s Fiesta is the only car in the UK to outsell the Corsa and Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director, Tim Tozer, said they were planning to take sales from Fiesta with new Corsa which would help to realise the ambition of his predecessor to become the UK’s top manufacturer next year.
Under the bonnet there will be new engines and transmissions with the introduction of a 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine with a balancer shaft to make it smoother - most of the Corsa rivals now have three cylinder engines which have low emissions and impressive fuel consumptions but this will be the first three pot power unit to have a balancer shaft.
New Corsa has a re-designed chassis and has a lower centre of gravity which aids stability and roll characteristics and the new speed sensitive steering has a City mode that helps low speed manoeuvering and parking making the car much more user friendly.
There are also new driver safety systems including hill start assist and automatic park assist which enables the car to self steer into a parking place along with a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The interior features a seven inch colour touchscreen control centre that has features such as voice command, Bluetooth and an area for locating and charging mobile phones plus audio functions.
And the new model is available with heated front seats and steering wheel, windscreen soft tone ambient lighting, full size panoramic roof plus bi-xenon headlights and a rear view camera.
The size of the interior and boot remain the same as on the previous model but the interior is extremely striking and will impress potential customers to new Corsa with the sales split expected to be 60 per cent for the three door version and 40 per cent for the five door.
Vauxhall has made it clear that the Fiesta is their main target and that they hope to take sales away from it which could lead to them overtaking Ford as the UK’s no 1 manufacter sometime next year.
Model: New Vauxhall Corsa.
Doors: Three and Five.
Engines: Petrol and diesel plus three cylinder petrol.
Transmission: Two new six speed manual and automatic gearboxes.
Price: From £8,995 on the road.