Not so long ago many of us were left wondering whether the Opel brand would survive the worldwide downturn, which saw parent company General Motors paring back in an effort to stay afloat.
There was talk of Opel being ditched in favour of a global vision to concentrate on Chevrolet, the companies halo brand.
Thankfully that never happened, and Opel survived, albeit with very much scaled back product range, which until recently only included the Corsa, Astra, Meriva and Vivaro. How the OPC division has weathered the waters is a mystery, however as lovers of performance machinery we should all collectively doff our caps to GM for continuing to bring us the Corsa and Astra OPC. Our roads are a better place for them.
What you see here could be the car to turnaround Opelâ€™s local fortunes and represents a number of new-generation of Opel vehicles destined for South Africa.
Itâ€™s called the Adam and will take the fight directly to the likes of the MINI Cooper and Fiat 500 with a funky, fresh design combined with an infinite number of personalisation options, a la the two aforementioned retros.
The new ADAM pays homage to Opelâ€™s long and illustrious heritage, and is named after Adam Opel who founded the company in 1862. Configured as 3-door, 4-seat hatchback the ADAM will offer a high level of customer-related equipment, with a firm emphasis on providing class-leading ergonomics and interior materials, fun-to-drive dynamics, great technology and an overall premium build quality.
South African consumers will have a choice of three specification models: An entry level ADAM, a mid-range ADAM JAM and the range-topping ADAM GLAM, combined with a choice of two petrol engines â€“ the entry-level featuring a naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre ECOTEC four-cylinder unit with 74 kW and 130 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The ADAM JAM and ADAM GLAM are both fitted with Opelâ€™s latest-generation 1.0-litre turbocharged ecoFLEX three-cylinder engine boasting an impressive 85 kW and 170 Nm of torque, the 1.0-litre ecoFLEX turbo engine is mated to Opelâ€™s latest 6-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is 196 km/h with acceleration from 0-100 km/h reached in 9.9 seconds.
On the personalisation front the standard ADAM can be had in a shade of nine exterior paint colours with funky names such as Red â€˜n Roll, Purple Fiction, Pump Up The Blue, The Greyfather, James Blonde, Saturday White Fever, Iâ€™ll Be Black and Silverwalker.
For the ADAM JAM, the following factory options are available: the TWISTED PACK which comes with either a white or black roof, the OPC-LINE PACK which includes 17-inch Hurricane alloy wheels and an OPC-Line body kit, the TWISTED OPC-LINE PACK which combines either a white or black roof and 17-inch Hurricane wheels with the OPC-Line Pack, and finally the XTREME PACK with a black or white roof, 18-inch twister alloys and the OPC-Line body kit.
The ADAM GLAM takes things further, offering a standard panoramic sunroof or the unique â€˜64 Starzâ€™ headliner which features 64 individual LED elements to create the effect of a starry night sky. The ambient lighting package, which illuminates the passenger foot well, door pockets and console storage, adjusts to light conditions and features a choice of eight selectable colours to suit the driverâ€™s mood and interior colour scheme.
The launch of the ADAM also introduces BringGo navigation app for IntelliLink-equipped Opels in South Africa. BringGo is a connected navigation solution which provides smartphone-powered navigation to the in-car infotainment system â€“ available for Apple and Android devices. Android users can use the navigation app by connecting their smartphone via Bluetooth; Apple users will need to connect with a USB cable.
Much like the latest smartphones, IntelliLink also includes pre-loaded apps for an even more integrated driving experience. These include Stitcherâ„¢ which streams the latest podcasts and radio shows for a mix of news, music, sports and talk show content customised to the userâ€™s preferences; TuneIn Internet radio; BringGo; and support for Siri when an Apple iPhone is connected. IntelliLink infotainment system is available as standard in ADAM JAM and ADAM GLAM.
An impressive standard safety list on all models includes six airbags, ABS with EBD and BAS, ESP Plus, Hill Start Assist, dual pretensioned front seat belts, the Opel Pedal Release System, integrated pedestrian protection, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and a rigid passenger cell with high tensile steel construction and crumple zones. All ADAM models also feature individual tyre pressure monitoring with tyre load indicators.
The three-model Opel ADAM range includes the ADAM 1.4 , ADAM JAM 1.0T ecoFLEX and the top of the range ADAM GLAM 1.0T ecoFLEX
Pricing will range from R200 000 up to R250 000, with final pricing to be made available in January 2015.