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All-new Opel Corsa
A cute and super-flexible supermini

New Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: 5-dr version, front view.

New Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: 5-dr version, back side view.

4th generation Opel Corsa: 5-door body version.

13 October 2006.

It might not be too surprising to see the all-new Opel Corsa supermini car (B-segment) achieve the best start ever for an Opel model till now, as said GM CEO Rick Wagoner.

Two days before the public opening of the 2006 Paris motor show (Mondial de l'Automobile, 30 September to 15 October), 73,600 orders had already been placed for the new Corsa, and that was still before its official market launch in Europe on the 7th of October.

The new Corsa is not just another cute and dynamic small car belonging to the important B-segment. Among other argument, it targets its young audience with a new practical innovation to transport up to two bicycles on the integrated “Flex-Fix” rear carrier  (prices at end of article).

All you need is simply pull the Flex-Fix rear carrier out from behind the rear bumper, like a drawer, only when you need it (see photos). No accessories to fix, none to remove.

New Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: 3-dr version, front side view.

New Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: 3-dr version, back side view.

The more sporty oriented body of the 3-door Corsa.

Of course, Opel won't restrict such a world exclusive innovation to the Corsa. Flex-Fix will be available too on the all-new Opel Antara SUV, which has just made its premiere at the Paris Motor Show.

Arriving  in European dealerships this month, the fourth-generation Corsa is built in Eisenach (Germany) and Zaragoza (Spain). To give an idea of the B-segment importance in volume terms, it represents over 24 percent of all passenger car sales in Europe. According to ACEA - Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles, - some 15,254,061 passenger car of all sizes were sold last year in the main European markets (23 EU Member States, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).

In the B-segment itself, Opel sold in Europe over 9.4 millions units of the three previous Corsa generations, since May 1982, including the Vauxhall badged models sold in the UK (GM owns both Opel and Vauxhall, amongst other brands). On a worldwide basis, around 14.2 million vehicles based on three Corsa generations had been sold by mid-2006, as General Motors produced it on four continents. The Corsa platform served too for other models such as the previous Tigra Coupé (1994) and the Meriva minivan (2003).

Opel this year expects around 75,000 registrations of the new Corsa. In 2007, the first full year of sales, the figure is expected to be around 375,000 units – about 25 percent more than in 2006.

New Opel Corsa small car: 3-dr version, compare side view with 5-dr version (below)

New Opel Corsa small car: 5-dr version, compare side view with 3-dr version (above).

The 3-door Corsa rear window (upper photo) inclines at a significantly steeper angle than the 5-door version (lower photo), with an almost coupé-style roof line. The 5-door Corsa's window line resembles that of the 5-door Astra, but with a unique C-pillar transition to the rear window.

From launch, the new Corsa is available in 3- and 5-door versions, with the same length of 3999mm (it was 3839mm in the previous generation) and height of 1488mm (was 1440mm), with a small difference in their width (3-door: 1713 mm, 5-door: 1737 mm, was 1646mm). The H-point and roof line are 40 millimeters higher than the previous model, enabling easier entry and better visibility. The wheelbase is at 2511 mm (was 2491mm) with a relatively wide track (front/rear: 1485 / 1478 mm). The wheels are placed at the body corners with a very short rear overhang.

On the outside, the three-door Corsa shares the five-door’s front fenders, hood, bumper and headlamps. However, its rear window inclines at a significantly steeper angle, coupled with an almost coupé-style roof line. The five-door Corsa's window line resembles that of the five-door Astra, but has a unique C-pillar transition to the rear window.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: FlexFix integrated carrier system, closed.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: FlexFix integrated carrier system, how to open.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: FlexFix integrated carrier system, opened.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: FlexFix integrated carrier system, mechanism.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: FlexFix integrated carrier system with two bicycles.

The Flex-Fix integrated rear carrier stows away into the rear bumper.

From the entry-level Corsa, up to the Edition (version names may differ between countries), Sport or Cosmo – all versions come with piano-lacquer interior surfaces, turn buttons for climate control, radio backlighting, and a reach and height-adjustable steering column.

The Sport model interior features a matte-chrome console and perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel. The sportiest Corsa exterior boasts details such as dark-tinted headlamps, 195/55 R 16 wheels, a chrome sports exhaust pipe, lower sport chassis, power steering with progressive variable feedback curve and shorter gear ratio.

Thanks to modern electronic architecture, the new Corsa can even memorise - depending on versions and equipments - each driver’s favourite radio station. In fact, up to five different drivers can save their individual settings for the infotainment system, automatic climate control, and on-board electronics... on the car keys. When the car is started, their personal preferences are automatically activated via the CANBUS system. In addition, a new comfort option brings a heated steering wheel – a first in this class.

The infotainment range includes five high-quality audio systems with output up to 150 watts, MP3-compatible CD players, twin tuners with excellent radio reception, navigation systems with CD and DVD-ROM, as well as a mobile phone console with voice control and Bluetooth interface.

Flex-Fix - The Flex-Fix integrated carrier system was presented first in the Opel Trixx concept car in 2004.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: trunk / boot with 60/40 split rear seat.

60:40-split and the rear seat back can be inclined by 7.5 degrees.

The integrated rear carrier, which stows away almost invisibly into the rear bumper, can easily be pulled out as needed and can carry up to two bicycles. Even the additional rear lights are stored in the drawer-like carrier, and can be fitted quickly.

After Opel's other first with the Zafira “Flex7” interior seating system, the new Flex-Fix integrated carrier system brings another practical dimension, eliminating the need for assembly, dismantling or storage of accessories.

DualFloor - Other practical features include the double load floor “DualFloor”, standard with the Edition, Sport and Cosmo equipment lines. Providing a flat load floor at sill height, it facilitates loading and unloading of heavy or bulky items as they can simply be slid into and out of the boot (trunk).

4th generation Opel Corsa B-segment passenger car: trunk / boot, DualFloor and luggage compartment cover.

The luggage cover can be fixed vertically (arrow), above the DualFloor.

When the load floor is in the upper position, there is additional storage space available underneath it, and with the rear seat back folded down, it creates a completely flat load surface. Alternatively, the “DualFloor” can also be lowered to the bottom of the trunk.

If not required, the luggage compartment cover can be fixed vertically behind the rear bench seat. Storage volume up to the luggage compartment cover is 285 litres, and 300 litres to the top of the seat backs. If the 60:40-split rear seat back (depending on versions) is folded down, storage volume increases to 700 litres, or to a 1100 litres if the car is loaded to the roof.

The rear bench seat back can also be inclined by 7.5 degrees, which provides the few centimetres of additional space for a bulky piece of luggage.

The new Corsa is also optionally available with a large sunroof (prices at end of article), featuring an opening which is 25 percent larger than its predecessor's sliding roof. A special dual-space sealing system and wind deflector reduce wind noise, with a sliding blind to protect against direct sunlight.

New Opel Corsa


3999 mm

Width (3/5-door)

1713 / 1737 mm


1488 mm


2511 mm

Track front/rear

1485 / 1478 mm

Curb weight (1.2 ECOTEC,
manual transmission) 3/5-door

1130 / 1160 kg


500 kg

ECOTEC Engines at launch


1.0 litre

1.2 litre

1.4 litre

Displacement, cm3




Max. output
kW/hp@ rpm




Max. torque
Nm@ rpm





1.3 CDTI

1.3 CDTI

1.7 CDTI





Max. output
kW/hp@ rpm




Max. torque




Engines - At its market launch, the Corsa is available with three petrol (gasoline) and two common-rail turbo-diesel Ecotec engines, all with four-valve per cylindre. They cover an output range of 60 to 90 hp. Soon after the start of sales, a new 125 hp, 1.7 CDTI with diesel particulate filter as standard will follow as the top-of-the-line unit. At 2300 rpm, this engine produces 280 Nm of torque via the five-bearing crankshaft.

Opel says its new Corsa with the 90 hp, 1.3 CDTI engine needs around 4.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (MVEG-mix test cycle). Modern technology in petrol engines, such as the Twinport system that combines variable intake control and high rates of exhaust gas recirculation, also gives higher fuel efficiency. The Corsa with the 1.2-litre, 80 hp Twinport Ecotec unit and Easytronic transmission needs only 5.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (MVEG-mix test cycle).

Transmissions - In addition to the five and six-speed manual transmissions (combined with the two more powerful diesel engines), and the automated Easytronic manual gearbox (option for the 1.2-liter petrol unit), the Corsa 1.4 Twinport Ecotec is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

4th generation Opel Corsa city car: new short front subframe, allowing for optimum chassis geometry, and a torsion-beam rear axle.

New short front subframe and a torsion-beam rear axle.

Body and suspension -  The new Corsa features a stiffer body (compared to the previous generation) with a new short front subframe, allowing for optimum chassis geometry, and a torsion-beam rear axle – familiar from the Astra – with three roll-rate levels. Other features include new low-friction stabiliser suspension, V-shaped positioning of the rear trailing arm, and the separation of the load paths for suspension and damping at the front axle.

Steering - The steering system gets a stiffer column with height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel and a higher performance, speed-dependent Electronic Power Steering (EPS), which in turn allowed a smaller steering wheel to be fitted.

In addition to the steering ratio, which is either linear or variable depending on the engine, the sport version of the Corsa gets a variable progressive power steering, which reacts very directly at the straight-ahead position and at low steering angles. But at higher steering angles the reaction is more gradual, to make manoeuvring and parking easier.

4th generation Opel Corsa small passenger car: Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL)

AFL: high or low beam swivelling up to 15° outward and 8° inward.

Safety - All active and passive safety systems are categorized at Opel under the “Safetec” heading. It includes the optional Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), ABS and ESP, extensive restraint systems and protection for other road-users with features such as adaptive brake lights.

The new two-stage brake booster provides better pedal response and functions as a brake assistant during emergency braking, immediately producing full braking power if the brake pedal is pressed quickly.

The Corsa is also optionally available with 195/55 R 16 tires with run-flat capability. Even after pressure loss, this makes it possible to continue up to 80 kilometres at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. This option includes the Deflation Detection System (DDS)

The newest generation of ABS and ESP systems boast additional functions. The Corsa’s ABS system features electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-Line Stability Control (SLS). When braking in a corner, CBC reduces the braking pressure at the inner-most wheel, delaying the application of ABS and reducing the braking distance. SLS prevents skidding when braking during straight-ahead driving by reducing braking pressure on one side of the car as required, which is especially useful on uneven road surfaces or poorly-maintained streets.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: dashboard view.

4th generation Opel Corsa supermini passenger car: dashboard side view, bi-colour.

All versions come with a reach and height-adjustable steering column.

The Corsa ESP system (controls braking individually at up to four wheels if necessary) covers other functions: Enhanced Understeering Control (EUC), Deflation Detection System (DDS) and Hill Start Assist (HSA). The latter prevents the car from rolling backwards when driving off on a slope without having to use the handbrake.

Opel offers an optional adaptive curve light, making the new Corsa the sixth model line with such a system after the Vectra, Signum, Astra, Zafira and Meriva. The Corsa’s AFL system  (prices at end of article) is combined with a halogen light to keep the price as low as possible while retaining all functions. The dynamic curve light reacts to the steering angle and speed of the car, swivelling the high or low beam headlamps up to 15° outward and eight degrees inward. At speeds below 40 km/h, the static cornering light is activated. Depending on turn signal and steering wheel position, it illuminates intersections and garage driveways to the right or left with the help of an additional reflector. This function is also activated when reversing.

Other lighting innovations in the Corsa include Automatic Lighting Control (ALC), whose sensors automatically activate the headlamps. This system can recognize an approaching tunnel for example, and differentiate it from an underpass.

All-new Open Corsa supermini car: passive car safety (with airbags and curtainbags view).

Front and side airbags plus – from Edition – head curtain airbags.

With the adaptive brake lights, the new Corsa warns following drivers by blinking all three brake lights five times per second in case of ABS braking when travelling at speeds above30 km/h. If airbags or belt tensioners are activated because of a collision, the hazard warning lights are automatically switched on.

The new Corsa restraint system includes two 2-stage front airbags, side airbags for driver and front passenger, and – from Edition – head curtain airbags which fold down like curtains to cover the entire length of the interior.

When transporting a baby in a carrier, the front passenger airbag can be deactivated by a button on the instrument panel. The Isofix system ensures optimal anchorage of baby carriers and child seats, and is enhanced in the rear bench seat to include a special safety harness to secure the upper part of the seat.

In the event of a front or rear impact, the shoulder belt is held tightly by a pyrotechnic seat-belt tensioner fitted to the seat, keeping the driver and front passenger in position. From the Edition version, another seat-belt tensioner secured to the car’s body pulls the lap belt tight and, together with ramps integrated into the seats, prevents passengers from sliding forwards. At the same time, a belt-force limiter in the belt reel prevents the safety-belt force from exceeding acceptable levels.

Front seat belts are height-adjustable, with visual and acoustic warning signals to remind driver and front passenger that seat belts should be fastened.

From the Edition version, the restraint system is complemented by active head restraints in front. In the event of a rear-end collision, they automatically move up and forward simultaneously, reducing the risk of whiplash. The Pedal Release System (PRS) decouples the pedals from their mountings in a severe frontal impact to protect the driver's feet.

Pedestrian protective features include a special low-density foam material in front of the bumper cross member to lessen the intensity of lower-body impact, and a stiffening of the bumper’s lower section spreads out the load over a larger area, thus limiting force to the knees. The hood’s thin sheeting reduces the severity of head impact, and the space between the hood and the engine provides a deformation distance. The fenders’ slotted fittings also deform on impact.

Versions, equipment and prices - In Europe, prices start from 10,990 euros for the entry-level three-door 1.0-liter 60hp Corsa, and from 11,675 euros for the five-door model, with the standard equipment including the central locking, power side mirrors, reach and height-adjustable steering wheel.

On-the-road and options prices in Europe (France example, incl. 19.6% VAT, as set on 18 Sep. 2006) start from 11,800 euros for the basic Essentia version (3-dr body) with the 80hp 1.2-litre engine (12,300 euros for the 5-dr version), 13,200 and 13,700 euros for the Enjoy version (3- and 5-dr body versions respectively), 14,800 euros for the Sport version (3-door body only), and 14,600 / 15,100 euros for the 3-dr/5-dr Cosmo version.

Options prices in France (some are standard depending on versions and markets) : ESP (500 euros for any version), panoramic sunroof (800 euros), FlexFix system (500 euros), rear park assistant (300 euros, incompatible with the FlexFix system), adaptive front lights system  (400 euros),  manual air conditioning (1000 euros with the basic version, standard on Enjoy and Sport), automatic climate control (300 euros on Enjoy and Sport, standard on Cosmo), metallic paint (400 euros).

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