Opel Corsa 2010: improved dynamics


The new Corsa range has been rejuvenated earlier this year to provide more power, more driving fun and more comfort with less fuel consumption. Under its captivating skin, everything has been renewed.

Opel engineers have given the Corsa a complete technical make-over, introducing an enhanced powertrain line-up that reduces fuel consumption by up to 13 percent while adding performance. Significant chassis improvements aim for greater ride comfort with no compromise on agility, and a new steering calibration provides better control.

To further enhance the Corsa appeal, designers have developed several new special editions for Europe. One of them, the Color Edition, with a black painted roof, bright exterior colors and lots of extras, already accounts for 20 percent of Corsa sales in Germany, while the performance-car look in the Color Race has also received its fans. New series are also under study, like a “Stripes” that may hit market in the coming months.

The Corsa comes in two distinct body styles: the coupé-like three-door and the family friendly five-door. Inside the cabin, the Corsa continues to offer one of the roomiest and most attractive interiors in its class. The small car is a highly popular choice throughout Europe, accounting for some 30 percent of all Opel/Vauxhall sales and placing itself among the leaders in its segment. On average, more than 400,000 units were sold annually the last three years and about 250,000 have been ordered since the beginning of 2010.

True to Opel’s philosophy, the Corsa also features innovative technologies at an affordable price, including halogen Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), a heated steering wheel, Hill Start Assist, a Panorama sunroof or the integrated FlexFix bicycle carrier, which is unique to Opel.

In addition to its athletic, dynamic styling and great driving fun, the Corsa also offers customers top class quality. Germany’s DEKRA Quality Report 2010 named the Corsa the overall winner, with the lowest defect rate of all the vehicles tested. DEKRA (Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungs-Verein) is a full-service provider for safe and efficient mobility and Europe’s leading technical expert organization.

More power with improved fuel economy
The new Opel Corsa entire line-up ranges from 65 hp to 192 hp. Now it offers a revitalized powertrain line-up that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 13 percent while increasing engine power in most applications. The new Corsa 1.3 liter ecoFLEX model with 70 kW/95 hp, in particular, offers exceptionally low CO2 emissions of just 98 g/km, yet 27 percent more power. The Corsa also comes with optional Start/Stop technology.

All gasoline engines in the Corsa family have been reworked in 2010. The top-of-the-line 1.6 liter turbo engine, delivering 141 kW/192 hp in the Corsa OPC, now improved fuel consumption by 7.6 percent and reduced CO2 emissions by 9.5 percent. At the same time, the engine calibration was optimized to meet Euro 5 norms. Fuel consumption is lowered to 7.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are reduced to 172 g/km. The Corsa OPC is equipped with a manual 6-speed gearbox (see dedicated text on the Corsa OPC for more details).

On the diesel side, different versions of the 1.3 and 1.7 CDTI motors offer outputs ranging from 55 kW/75 hp to 96 kW/130 hp – and merely sip diesel; all have fuel consumption under 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Introduced earlier this year; the new top-of-the-line 1.7 CDTI diesel engine also gains power and torque, while reducing its fuel consumption. Its output has increased from 92 kW/125 hp to 96 kW/130 hp, and its maximum torque has risen from 280 to 300 Nm at a lower engine speed and spread across a wider rev range, delivering a more rewarding driving experience. Emissions are cut by nine percent – to an impressive 118 g/km CO2 for the 3-door version – and fuel consumption is similarly reduced to just 4.5 l/100km.

The new Corsa 1.7 CDTI sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds (compared to 9.9 seconds on the previous model) and reaches 200 km/h, 5 km/h more than the previous generation. Increased torque also enables acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in just 9.3 seconds, compared to 10.4 seconds previously.

While making this engine Euro 5 compliant, Opel engineers developed an optimized combustion system by reducing the compression ratio and introducing a next generation fuel injection system with up to eight injections per cycle. The new turbocharger is fitted with an actuator position sensor for more precise control of the boost pressure. A new lightweight intake manifold combined with a fully electronically controlled variable swirl system optimizes the combustion, and new low voltage glow plugs reduce the load on the generator during engine warm-up.

The 1.7 CDTI is Opel’s first engine to feature a D1 diesel engine management system designed in-house. For customers this means their car continues to deliver its initial performance in terms of drivability and efficiency over the longer term. The D1 module also improves service because it offers a number of new diagnostic functionalities and tools to enable vehicle service teams to more accurately monitor engine components.

Up-graded chassis and steering
So that drivers can enjoy all that engine power, Opel engineers have significantly reworked the chassis and steering of the Corsa. The Corsa now delivers improved ride comfort, enhanced steering feel and greater directional stability – all without compromising the acclaimed agility and driving fun.

Dampers, springs, anti-roll bars, the rear axle, the steering gear and the software of the Electric Power steering (EPS) have all been revised to give Corsa greater running refinement, together with a steering and ride quality typical of a vehicle from a more expensive class.

Advanced chassis set up improves comfort and driving experience
On the open road, the compound crank (torsion beam) rear axle now delivers excellent stability for the driver when changing direction during a sudden maneuver or lane change.

To reduce any over-steer or yaw tendency that may occur, Opel engineers have repositioned the rear beam. In profile, it has been rotated through 20 degrees so that the open section is now even more downward facing. This position increases the lateral stiffness of the beam which enables the rear of the car to stay more in line with changes in steering direction.

Both front and rear dampers now have a more digressive setting as a result of changes to the piston and bottom valving. At low speeds, they offer improved body control on rough roads while at higher speeds, when load frequencies increase, the damping rate decreases slightly for greater ride comfort.

On diesel models, the springs are also softened in the front by about eight percent to improve the ride comfort. In addition, the front suspension bump stops are slightly softer to reduce any jarring inside the cabin under maximum compression loads.

To ensure that the Corsa’s handling agility and excellent body control is unaffected by the slightly softer suspension set-up, the thickness of the front anti-roll bar is increased by 1 mm: from 18 to 19 mm for the 1.0-liter and 1.2 liter variants, and from 19 to 20 mm for the1.4-liter and all diesel-powered versions.

Greater steering precision and feel
Opel engineers have also optimized the Corsa’s Electric Power Steering (EPS) to give the driver more precise control. The yoke carrying the steering rack is now lined with a low friction material which improves feel and precision for inputs around the on-center position, while also delivering a smoother self-centering action.

The software controlling the steering has also been remapped, providing slightly more power assistance for small steering inputs and better torque build up at higher steering wheel angles.

In combination with the greater stability offered by the stiffer rear axle, the steering improvements give the driver better feedback overall, while also minimizing the need for corrective action following sudden changes of direction.

All the changes apply to Essentia, Enjoy and Cosmo variants, while versions equipped with the Sport chassis as well as the ecoFLEX model benefit from the improvements to the rear axle and steering. The Corsa OPC took over the changes applied to the steering gear.

Corsa Special Editions: individual, athletic looks
In order to further enhance the appeal of the Corsa and propose individual looks, Opel is working on developing new special editions. It all started in Eisenach, when the youngest employees working on the assembly line of the Corsa designed “their own” car, a white Corsa with glossy black accents. Decision makers at Opel liked it and the young Eisenachers refined their car together with the design department and made it available on the German market, as the “Corsa Black and White.” Its immediate success launched a development program at Opel Design for a series of special Corsa vehicles, under the name “Color Line.” They come in addition to the standard Corsa offer and add additional sportiness and design features to the small Opel, with different looks that appeal to different audiences.

Exciting Corsa Color Line
These sporty special editions, in three and five-door body formats, bring even more panache to the Corsa formula, with bright body colors and design themes presented on 17-inch alloy wheels. They are always combined with the sport chassis, enveloping sport seats, dark tail lamps, dark tinted glass and a chromed, oval exhaust pipe. In the interior, the center console is in piano paint. In addition, the car features alloyed pedals and sporty seats. Air vent rings and stitching on the seat upholstery are color-coordinated with the exterior paint. Similar to footwear in which sport shoes do not systematically call for race tracks and a stadium, all variants of the sporty looking Corsa Color Line are available with the 1.2 and 1.4 gasoline engines and the 1.3 and 1.7 CDTI powertrain.

  • The Corsa Color Edition was the first member of the Color Line. It directly succeeded the “Black & White.” A rather fashionable and stylish model, it mainly aims at drivers looking for an individual looking car. It features a black roof, complemented by high-gloss black, five-spoke alloy wheels, and comes in exterior colors of Casablanca White, Sunny Melon yellow, Magma red, Oriental Blue or Black Sapphire. First launched in Germany where it now accounts for nearly 20 percent of all Corsa sales, the Color Edition now extends to Europe with great success: In the Netherlands, 14 percent of Corsa buyers opt for a Color Edition model.
  • The Corsa Color Race is more exclusive due to an even more expressive appeal and mainly aims at drivers looking for a racy feel. Inspired from the traditional livery of Opel’s race and rally cars of the 1960s and 1970s, it is offered in yellow, red or white and adds a black hood and tailgate, each with a checkered flag motif to highlight the Corsa’s winning appeal.
  • The Corsa Stripes is just a study for the time being, but it may well be the next addition to the Corsa line-up. It is a special execution of a sporty Corsa that has high individual appeal. The Corsa Stripes is decorated with two large black or white stripes running over its body from the hood to the tail gate. The color of the stripes can be matched on the outside mirror caps and the 17-inch alloy wheels.

Source: Opel (press release/media site)