MADRID – French automaker PSA will begin building gasoline and diesel versions of the sixth-generation Opel Corsa later this year at its plant in Figueruelas, Spain, followed in first-quarter 2020 by a battery-electric version of the small city car.
PSA says it will begin accepting orders for the Corsa-e before variants powered by internal-combustion engines, indicating the automaker’s uncertainty about the level of demand for the EV.
The Corsa-e reveals PSA’s break with former Opel parent General Motors’ policy of building EVs on dedicated platforms (one such car was the Opel Ampera, sold in North America as the Chevrolet Volt). The CMP platform designed by PSA can be used with ICE- or electric-powered vehicles.
PSA intends that by 2024 all Opel cars will have either a battery-electric or hybrid-electric variant. For this reason, the Corsa-e is expected to be followed by a PHEV version of the GrandLand X CUV with 32 miles (52 km) of electric-only range, an all-electric Vivaro light-commercial vehicle and a successor to the Mokka small CUV, as well as other models.
PSA says the Corsa-e has 200 miles (330 km) of range, and its 136-hp motor can provide maximum torque of 192 lb.-ft. (260 Nm). The EV accelerates from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 8.1 seconds.
Range varies with three driving modes: Normal, Eco and Sport. The Sport mode increases responsiveness and driving dynamics, but with what Opel calls “a moderate loss of range.” In Eco mode, the Corsa-e enjoys a significant increase in range without negatively affecting comfort.
The 50-kWh battery has an 8-year warranty and can replenish up to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes with a high-speed charger, but it also is compatible with 240V Level 2 charging and 120V standard wall socket charging at longer intervals. The status of the load can be verified with a smartphone app.
The vehicle has a dynamic look thanks to its sporty design while maintaining the compact exterior dimensions of previous generations, PSA says. With a length of 159.8 ins. (4,060 mm), the Corsa is still a 5-seat car. The coupe-type roofline is 1.9 ins. (48 mm) lower than its predecessors without compromising headroom. The driver sits 1.1 ins. (28 mm) lower, with driving behavior and dynamics benefiting from the lower center of gravity.
All models of the new Corsa will feature Opel’s IntelliLux LED adaptive matrix lighting, which uses eight LED elements controlled by a high-resolution front camera to continuously adapt the lighting beam to the traffic situation and environment.
Advanced driver-assistance technologies will include adaptive speed control, lane-exit assistant and blindspot assistant.
Both the Navi Multimedia infotainment system with 7-in. (18-cm) color touchscreen (above, left) and Multimedia Navi Pro system with a 10-in. (25-cm) color touchscreen offer the new Opel Connect telematics functions such as navigation with real-time traffic information and direct connection to roadside-assistance and emergency calls.