With the new Corsa bakkie GMSA is ready to take on Ford Bantam, which is the current segment leader. And the second generation Corsa Utility has what it takes to come out on top.
Initially the new Opel Corsa Utility will be offered as a four model range with a choice of either a 1.4-litre litre petrol or a 1.7-litre diesel engine.
This choice will be extended during the second quarter of 2005 with the addition of a 1.8 litre petrol engine to the range. All models come with a five-speed manual transmission and power steering.
The 2004 Corsa Utility has modern styling with the nose design similar to that of the Corsa passenger range. Furthermore GMSA also claims that the Utility's cabin, which is referred to as "Maxicab", is the biggest in its class.
Furthermore the Opel bakkie also offers the best ground clearance, 214 mm, in its class. Another important improvement is a bigger load box which has a total volume of 1.19m³.
However, the bakkie's most distinctive feature is that it has the best payload in the business - 790kg for the 1.7 DTi and 680kg for the 1.4i.
Therefore the 1.7 DTi model is actually a ¾ tonner which makes it an attractive option for those who often need to carry more than the 600 kg+ loads but don't have the full-time need for a one-ton pick up.
In its latest form the 1.4 litre multi-point fuel injected engine offers a nominal increase in power and torque over the previous model. Power is now 66kW at 6 200 r/min and torque 115 Nm at 3200 r/min.
The diesel versions however feature a significant change as it now is available with a 1.7-litre turbocharged and intercooled unit instead of the previous model's naturally aspirated engine.
Power is up with 31% from 42kW at 4300 r/min to 55kW at 4400 r/min. Torque has increased with a useful 40% from 105 Nm at 2700 r/min to 165 Nm available between 1800 and 3000 r/min.
The oil change interval for the diesel model is also now 15 000 km instead of 7 500 km.
As the only country outside of Brazil to produce the Corsa Utility and the only country to manufacture a right hand drive version of the Corsa bakkie within the General Motors global organisation, GMSA has enjoyed a close engineering relationship with the Brazilian parent plant for this vehicle.
This extended to tailoring the South African version to specific local requirements.
For example a number of enhancements, such as a stronger support for the load box, are unique to the new Corsa Utility in South Africa. The bakkie also features a new suspension setup.
Two specification levels are available on the new Corsa bakkie, "Base" and "Sport".
Key specification items on the Base model:
Electric power steering
14 inch steel wheels/ wheel covers/185/65 HR 14 tyres
Vinyl seat covers with cloth available as an option
Height adjustment for driver's seat
Roof mounted radio antenna
12 volt power socket
Remote operated exterior rear view mirrors
Optional sliding rear window
The Sport specification level includes all the features of the 'Base' level and adds the following items:
Remote central door locking
Radio/CD combination with TID display
Colour keyed wheel arch mouldings, mirror housings and bumpers
14 inch alloy wheels fitted with 185/65 HR 14 tyres
Sport seats with jacquard cloth trim
Front fog lamps
High mounted brake light
Rear sliding window
A passive immobiliser system.
Rolling security codes provide protection against code grabbing and remote signal cloning.
Radio frequency remote-control central door locking on Sport models.
A deadlock function on door locks. In this mode the door locking buttons cannot be opened manually.
All radios are security code protected. If the unit is removed or the battery is disconnected then the relevant security code must be entered to reactivate the radio.
Opel Corsa Utility 1.4i: R 78 240
Opel Corsa Utility 1.4iS: R107 270
Opel Corsa Utility 1.7DTi: R108 860
Opel Corsa Utility 1.7 DtiS: R132 030