A heated windscreen. That’s what, in customer satisfaction surveys, current Vauxhall Corsa owners said they wanted. Not a revolution in looks, nor in dynamics, nor in cabin ambience, but a heated windscreen, please.
So you’ll excuse the new Corsa for not reinventing itself. The new model is as all new as many cars get these days. Elements of the monocoque have been carried over, because until a revolution in the cost of composites comes, modern finite element analysis means that its steel shell is as stiff and crash resistant as it’s likely to get.
That makes it a similar size and weight to the outgoing Corsa, at a whiff over four metres long and 1177kg. Beyond that, new means new. Every panel on the mildly Vauxhall Adam-ised, slightly more butch exterior is different. Every component forward of the A-pillars is new. Every suspension component, too, as are the pick-up points for the front MacPherson struts and the rear torsion beam.
GM retains an engineering centre at Millbrook in the UK and is no stranger to tuning cars there, because it knows that British road conditions are different from those elsewhere. So whereas Opel Corsas, belying their German engineering origin, will apparently have greater straight-on stability to their steering, UK Vauxhall cars get a different power steering tune (electric assistance makes that much easier).
It’s said to be more responsive off the straight-ahead to suit our twistier roads. Although the rest of the chassis tune is no different here or across mainland Europe, development of that has taken place in Britain, too.