What is it?
The new Corsa SRi, so the Vauxhall press release would have you believe, is the return of a legend, the reincarnation of “one of the nation’s best-loved hot hatches”. Here’s why.
If you’re in your twenties or early thirties you may remember the original 82bhp Nova SRi fondly as a surprisingly rapid and fun first car. You may also remember that when you (almost inevitably) landed it in a ditch, the only parts worth saving were the dodgy aftermarket alloys. If you are not in your twenties, then you probably associate the SRi badge with joy-riding chavs, and if that’s the case, the “best-loved” part of that statement might be a bit wide of the mark.
Autocar, on the other hand, would encourage you not to judge this car by association, because the new Corsa SRi is actually a rather decent warm hatch.
For £13,625 (bang in Fiesta ST territory) you get a detuned, 148bhp version of the Corsa VXR’s 1.6-litre turbo motor, suspension lowered by 18mm at the front and 15mm at the rear and variable assistance for the power steering.
The SRi also gets a modestly aggressive body kit and a quartet of pretty five-spoke alloys. Inside, there are sports seats with red detailing, a red and black leather steering wheel and, err, ‘sporty’ red seatbelts. For £610 more, you can also get a 123bhp 1.7-litre turbodiesel version.