PSA Group will give Vauxhall’s supermini an injection of pizzazz and dynamic appeal

The sixth-generation Vauxhall Corsa, which will go on sale next year, will be fundamental to the success of the British company as the first car produced under its new owner, the PSA Group.

The Corsa will set the tone for a new wave of Vauxhall/Opel vehicles, each of which will be overhauled thanks to access to new platforms, engines and hardware also used across the group’s other car brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS.

Vauxhall’s new supermini has been developed in an unusually fast time. When it is unveiled in 2019, less than two years will have elapsed since work began, just as the deal to buy Vauxhall/ Opel was being agreed between PSA and General Motors.

2018 Vauxhall Corsa hatch spotted with revised interior

The quick turnaround is due to PSA axing the original decision for the next Corsa to be based on GM’s architecture. Once PSA had taken over Vauxhall/Opel, it would have been required to pay a licence fee to GM to use the platform, something boss Carlos Tavares is keen to avoid as he tries to return the brands to profitability by 2020.

Vauxhall/Opel boss Michael Lohscheller has previously told Autocar that the new Corsa “will not be compromised in any way. It’s true that we had a version ready to go, and you can’t just stretch a design to fit a new platform, but the teams have done a fantastic job in record time to ensure that the car is on schedule.”

The new Corsa will be based on PSA’s Common Modular Platform (CMP), a front-engine, front-wheel-drive architecture that will also underpin cars such as the forthcoming new Peugeot 208. The Corsa will also dip into PSA’s engine line-up and is likely to adopt the 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder in a variety of power outputs.

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Corsa cornering

All-new Vauxhall Corsa raises its game with the end result being a classy supermini that’s decent to drive, but still short of the benchmark set by the Ford Fiesta

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Comment: PSA plans for a better Vauxhall Corsa

Despite the switch to a new platform, the Corsa Mk6’s dimensions are understood to closely match the outgoing model’s. Vauxhall chose to launch the current Corsa in 2014 with near-identical dimensions to its predecessor because the company felt it was the perfect size wanted by customers. This strategy is expected to continue. The current Corsa is 4021mm long, 1736mm wide and 1479mm tall, dimensions that make it slightly longer and taller, but narrower, than the existing Peugeot 208.

The design of the Corsa was set to be evolutionary before the plan for a GM-derived model was axed. Now, to mark a new era for the model under PSA ownership, the styling promises to mark a departure from what we expect the supermini to look like.

The three-door Corsa will be axed, reflecting an industry trend to discontinue such bodystyles, which are less popular with buyers. Producing only a five-door Corsa will also help Vauxhall/Opel’s drivefor greater efficiency and increased profitability.

Inside, the Corsa will receive PSA’s familiar touchscreen infotainment system, but the overall feel of the interior is expected to be distinct from its French siblings. Vauxhall’s new grille and lights design and all-glass fascia panel, revealed in Autocar last week, are expected to be introduced.

Not long after the debut of the standard Corsa next year, an electric version will be launched, named eCorsa. Although the Peugeot 208 will get an electric variant first, it and the Corsa will be among the select few in the supermini segment to adopt electrified powertrains. Key rivals such as the Ford Fiesta are not expected to go electric for many years yet.

The electric range of the eCorsa is likely to be about 250 miles, in line with zero- emissions rivals such as the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf.

The current Corsa was once the UK’s second-best-selling car but is currently fifth in the sales charts, selling less than half of the Fiesta’s sales total each month. The new version will be built at the Zaragoza plant in Spain.

The price of the new Corsa is expected to rise slightly over today’s £13,575 starting point for the five-door model but still undercut the Peugeot 208. 

Read more

Vauxhall Corsa review 

2018 Vauxhall Corsa hatch spotted with revised interior

Vauxhall Astra review

Join the debate

Comments
21

3 August 2018

 If only new Cars could look like the drawings, the concept model, maybe Vauxhall will go radical?

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2018

 If only new Cars could look like the drawings, the concept model, maybe Vauxhall will go radical?

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2018

 If only new Cars could look like the drawings, the concept model, maybe Vauxhall will go radical?

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2018

No interest, sorry!

3 August 2018
Riley 1.5 wrote:

No interest, sorry!

Same for me.  Where I live, the 3- door current model is very popular, especially with young drivers. Thankfully Ford still do a 3-door Fiesta to give small hatchback buyers a proper choice.

4 August 2018
catnip wrote:

Riley 1.5 wrote:

No interest, sorry!

Same for me.  Where I live, the 3- door current model is very popular, especially with young drivers. Thankfully Ford still do a 3-door Fiesta to give small hatchback buyers a proper choice.

I suspect its close to half of all Corsas are 3 door. Ford as you say may do very well as everyone else abandons the 3 door car. I find it very hard to understand why people want 5 doors on a car so small, if you need to get people in the back, you need something bigger than a Corsa, if you dont why not have a 3 door?

 

3 August 2018

If PSA do all they say they are going to do with Vauxhall Opel, it could be the kick up the backside they have needed for decades but, GM comprehensively failed to deliver.

Citroëniste.

3 August 2018

 It kind of reminds you of a shrunken Astra VXR....?

Peter Cavellini.

3 August 2018
In what way is the new Corsa going to be a 'British' car exactly? Designed in France and Germany, built in Spain and owned by French company... Where does the British bit fit into that?!

3 August 2018

It's the thought that counts. Rule Brittania.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week