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Opel Adam supermini arrives in SA

2014-12-12 14:41


HEY, CITY-SLICKER! Meet Adam, Opel's offering to the luxury supermini A-segment. It's scheduled to arrive in South Africa in January 2015. Image: Opel SA

General Motors brought Opel back with a bang in 2013 then it became even more than that - it was the beginning of an Opel revolution and a big part of it is the new Opel Adam.

"The car," GM says, "is the first of a number of new-generation of Opel vehicles". And headed for South Africa.

The Adam will only arrive officially towards the end of January 2015. It will be followed quickly by the fifth-generation Corsa (a car that, in Europe, already has 63 500 orders ahead of its launch) and the Mokka... and a lot more.

Pricing is expected to be between R200 000 and R250 000. Final pricing will also only be available closer to the cars' arrival.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Opel Adam in SA

GM’s director of European sales, Matthias Seidl, was at the Cape Town media launch of the Adam on December 11 22014. He told Wheels24 that Opel is selling more than a million vehicles a year and is now the third-largest brand in Europe.

He added that GM was planning 27 model and 17 engine launches from now until 2018, among them the Cascada, Adam Rocks, Adam S, Insignia OPC and Meriva

There might not be an Eve, says GM, but there will be another small city car called Karl in mid-2015.

If you’re wondering, the Adam is named for the company's founder, Adam Opel, who not only made cars and bicycles but also invented the sewing machine in 1862. So the car also pays homage to the brand’s long and illustrious heritage, claims the automaker.


Opel SA says Adam is not gender or age-specific and is more of a 'lifestyle car'. It’s an “urban trend-setter and personalisation champion”. Mixing and matching car accessories seems to be the latest craze when it comes to customising small cars so Opel has merely climbed aboard the band wagon. Think the same way Fiat’s 500, Citroen's DS3 and Audi’s A1 with their custom options.

Except the Adam claims to be an A-segment luxury supermini and the automaker’s attempt at shaking up the local market with an entry packed with standard crash protection equipment and infotainment and convenience features.

The Wheels24 team thinks other direct rivals in teams of power and price would be the Ford Fiesta, Alfa Romeo Mito and Hyundai Accent.

South Africa will have three models at launch: the entry-level Adam, Adam Jam and the range-topping Adam Glam. Er, yeah, we know...  Anyway, each derivative has a choice of custom options, dealer-fittable accessories and a wide selection of paint colours.


There are only two petrol engine choices. The first is a 1.4 Ecotec four-cylinder  making 74kW /130Nm. This engine is only fitted in the base Adam, is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, has a claimed combined fuel-consumption of 5.3 litres/100km and 125g/km CO2 emissions. Top speed is 185km/h and 100km/h comes up in 11.5sec.

The Jam and Glam have Opel's latest one-litre turbocharged Ecoflex three-cylinder engine. It makes 85kW/170Nm and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The claimed combined fuel consumption is 5.1/100 and 119g/km CO2 emissions. Top speed is 196km/h, 100 arrives in 9.9sec.


It's different but still distinctively Opel. The nose has a lower grille to help produce the 'friendly' face. The headlight clusters have been softened; I think it looks very Porsche-ish. Not surprising, considering GM says this little baby is the first of its "new Germans''.

I like it.

The rest of the styling is clean and simple and the floating roof is a winner. The diode-lit front and rear lights with their chromed bits are also a nice touch. Its compact build makes the Adam great for great city driving and squeezing into a tight parking space, especially with the standard "parking assistant" - of which more just now...


There were only two 1.4 models at the launch; the rest were all one-litre Jams and Glams. Too many jostling journos, not enough cars so no chance to drive one. Whatever, the Jam Extreme and Glam units I found myself in were enough to get a good idea of the car.

It's a gutsy little thing. I wasn't expecting it to be as impressive as Ford's Fiesta with its 92kW Ecoboost one-litre engine but Opel's EcoFlex unit comes close. Well done there, Opel.

I'm not the greatest of friends with the heat of summer so aircon always has to be on when I'm in a car and with the scorching heat out in Somerset West and Kleinmond, having it off was not an option. Despite that, the engine still easily climbed the Grabouw pass and sat well on the twisty bends on the gorgeous coast road from Betty's Bay to Gordon's Bay.

The only niggles: irksome 'stick-on' sporty pedals - they should be real. It wasn't a great first impression when the accelerator pedal fell off even before we started our route drive... this for a quarter-million bucks?

The second would be the steering. It's too light, even though it's a city car, but it does help with parking system. A slight adjustment would help especially when on longer or more challenging roads.


Adam: Eight funky colours: Purple Fiction, I'll Be Black, Let It Blue, The Greyfather, James Blonde, Saturday White Fever, Silverwalker, Red 'n Roll.

It comes with full colour-coding, 15” alloy rims, daytime running lights, front fog lights, heatable and powered external mirrors, leather-bound multi-function steering-wheel with rake/reach adjustment, cruise control with a speed limiter, a radio/CD audio system with USB, aux and Bluetooth support and five speakers, trip data computer, chrome instrumentation rings, 'flexi' cup holders, tinted electric windows; colour-coded key fob, 'Japan Paint' interior décor, black cloth upholstery, split/folding rear seats, speed-sensitive power steering, manual aircon and a pollen filter.

Adam Jam: Same eight paint colours, builds on standard Adam features; drive assistant display, 16” alloy rims, diode daytime running lights and brake lights; IntelliLink system* with seven premium speakers, parking sensors, black upholstery, and side mirror caps matched to the roof colour.

It also has blind-spot alerts which warn of a vehicle in that zone, at least up to 140km/h.

*Opel says IntelliLink, as with other smartphones, includes pre-loaded apps for an integrated driving experience such as StitcherT, TuneIn Internet radio; BringGo - a navigation app; and support for Siri when an Apple iPhone is connected.

Four option Jam packs are exclusively available:  
Twisted Pack:White or black roof;
OPC-Line pack:17” alloy rims and body kit
Twisted OPC-Line Pack: Combines Twisted and OPC-line packs
Xreme Pack:  Black or white roof, OPC-Line body kit and 18” alloy rims with custom spoke treatment and coloured clips.

Adam Glam: Over and above Jam specifications, Glam has a 'Sight and Light' pack, auto aircon, eight multi-colour ambient light settings, either a glass roof or a 64 Starz headliner, 17” alloy rims, 'Tinted steel' interior decor and black upholstery. Six paint colours with exclusive Purple Fiction and A Star is Born paint options with matching purple interior highlights on the facia, steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake and seats.

The Sight and Light pack has auto headlights control with tunnel recognition, auto wipers with vehicle speed-dependent regulation and an auto-dimming interior mirror.


There are six airbags, ABS with EBD and BAS, ESP Plus, hill-start assistant, pre-tensioning front seat belts, Opel's pedal decoupling system, bonnet pedestrian protection, IsoFfix child seat anchor and a rigid passenger cell with high-tensile steel construction and crumple zones.

There’s also individual tyre-pressure monitoring with tyre load indicators and the automatic advanced park assistant which helps the driver park hands-free..


...which is one of the other highlights on the Adam. Unlike other self-parking cars such as Citroen's C4 Picasso, this is much easier to use. You press the park button select the kind of parking you need to do and let the car search for the available bay and Bob's your uncle. Take your hands off and just feather the throttle and brakes until the car tells you to stop.

Would I buy one? I'm not sure. I think I need some more time with one - and accurate prices could be the decider. I don't see much wrong with it and it is a refreshing addition to the local market.

It's cute, good-looking, drives lekker and is great for youngsters or empty-nesters. Not great for young families with prams and things because boot space is limited, so consider that if you like road-tripping or weekend camping.

It's purpose is to be a city-slicker and it fills that role perfectly.

The Adam comes with a five-year or 120 000km vehicle warranty, five-year unlimited distance anti rust-through warrant and a three-year or 60 000km service plan.

More on the Adam: Build your own here!

Read more on:    general motors  |  opel  |  launch  |  cape town  |  south africa  |  new model  |  adam

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