18 May 2005

We can exclusively reveal the sporty, coupé-like profile of Vauxhall’s next-generation Corsa, courtesy of these bodyshells (right) scooped during manufacturing development. Like its bigger brother, the Astra, the new Corsa three-door gets a wedgy profile and steeply raked rear windscreen.

The radical look is aimed at making design one of the main selling points, as the current model is seen to have lost its creative edge, a weakness reinforced in customer clinics that have helped designers push through the more radical look. The styling of the five-door will be more conservative.

Improving ride and handling is also a major aim for the new Corsa ≠— today’s car holds little appeal for enthusiasts.

The new Corsa is based on an all-new platform shared with the next Fiat Punto. Bigger all-round than today’s Corsa, it still features conventional strut/torsion beam suspension, although the design is more sophisticated than that of today’s car.

The three-door body scooped here will spawn two sporty derivatives — an SRi powered by a new 140bhp 1.8-litre engine and a VXR with a 180bhp turbocharged 1.6. Other petrol engines will include a 60bhp 1.0, 80bhp 1.2, 90bhp 1.4 and 105bhp 1.6, while the two diesels on offer will be 1.3-litre Fiat JTD direct-injection units with 75bhp or 90bhp.

Expect to see the new Corsa at next March’s Geneva Motor Show, with UK sales starting in August.

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