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SPIED: Opel’s mini Corsa

2012-01-18 10:10

JUNIOR CORSA: While the Insignia’s interior has been handed down to the Astra and Meriva, the Junior city car will receive an all new design.


Opel may have frozen the design of an upmarket small city car 10 months ago, but we now have some images of the new model set to rival BMW’s Mini and the Fiat 500.

Earlier in 2011, our spy photographers spotted the prototype, codenamed Junior, undergoing testing. The Junior is based on a shortened Corsa platform and derives its name from a 1983 concept car.

Nick Reilly, GM Europe president, said one of his first decisions in November 2009 was to "prioritise and accelerate" development of the Junior.

Reilly said: “It’s a chic and stylish minicar that fits with today’s hip, urban spirit. It is not a low-cost verison of the Corsa.”

Design chief Mark Adams said: “We have a heritage in small cars, but we wanted to do this in a contemporary way. It’s modern but with real personality.”

Adams said: “Toyota’s iQ is too compromised. Ours won’t be generous, but it will be capable of seating four on a normal journey.”

GM Europe is investing R112.9 billion in new cars and powertrains over the next three years. A new small petrol engine is being development for the Junior while GM has confirmed an electric version is also planned.

Adams said: “We want to show we are not in a straightjacket. Cars like the Junior will make people realise we are really pushing the Opel brand. If we’d have tried to introduce it before Insignia, it probably wouldn’t have worked. Now we have the quality, and we’re flirting with more character and personality.”

Junior production will start at the Eisenach plant in Germany in late 2012, with sales beginning in 2013.


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