News of the week:
- Volkswagen’s Scirocco has been face lifted and given a new lease on life.
- Locally, the Scirocco is a popular model but, having launched at the same time as the Golf VI in 2009, the facelift couldn’t have come sooner, considering that the seventh generation Golf is now two years old.
- It retains three engines in its line-up, the 1.4L twin-charged TSI with 118kW, the 2.0L 155kW TSI and the flagship 188kW 2.0L R model.
- Externally, the new Scirocco’s shape has been refined and modernised with new headlights and tail lights, as well as revised bumper styling.
- The revised front bumper features aerodynamic ‘blades’ in the outer section, like those on the latest-generation Golf GTI, with integrated indicator lights, daytime running lights and fog lights.
- On models with (optional – standard in Scirocco R) bi-xenon headlights, the daytime running lights are LEDs within the main headlights.
- As standard, Volkswagen has given the Scirocco R a bespoke sports chassis setup and equipped it with the front axle differential lock XDS. XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) that is integrated in the electronic stability control programme and effectively eliminates traction loss.
- Subtle changes to the interior, but the biggest change on inside it to the dashboard which features the oil temp gauge and boost gauge – similar to the Focus ST and Renault Megane RS.
- It’s available in 6-speed manual and with the DSG option as well.
- It’s priced from R355 000 to R489 000 – not too far off from the rest of the hot hatch brigade out there. The price includes a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty.
Opel’s Adam is jamming and glamming
When a car manufacturer is valiant enough to uses Jam and Glam as model derivative names for their cars, you know you’re for something special. Thegandra Naidoo reports.
When Opel returned to the local market some five years ago, it unleashed an onslaught of new vehicles with the promise of more to come. Its latest model range is revelation that this manufacturer wanted to be touted on a higher pedestal than its rivals. But have they achieved this goal? Have they made enough impact with some of their vehicles to take on other mainstream car manufacturers?
Well, let’s take you on a story path to Germany on a Saturday afternoon in October. It was over few drinks when Opel’s designers decided that it was time to step up their game and give buyers a car that could suit their techno lifestyle. (Nb. This is the writer’s crazy suggestion of how the vehicle was conceived is not it not based on any facts whatsoever!)
The result, I hear you ask? Meet the Opel Adam, the funkiest car to arrive from the Opel stable! It’s been introduced to the market to complement its bigger Corsa sibling, and hopefully, bring some flavour within its segment.
Now, I’m sure many of you might disagree with me because Fiat, Mini, and Citroen have models to compete with the Adam. Well, just like the abovementioned models, the Adam comes with a choice of customisation options, but takes these options a notch up.
By this, I mean, it comes in a range of colours that are inspired by famous movies. These include The Greyfather, Purple Fiction and James Blonde! It’s the out-of-the-box thinking that sets it apart. I wouldn’t be surprised if Opel introduces “Grease” or “From dusk till Dawn” to its paint chart very soon! See what I mean?
It measures in at just 3.7m in length and 1.7m in width, making it a lot smaller than the Corsa. Perfect, it’ll be a dream car to Parallel Park, and it’ll fit snug into narrow parking bays too.
Now, you might be wondering, why the name “Adam”? Well, it’s quite simple. Opel decide to pay homage to its founder Adam Opel by naming a car after him. Now it’s not the sort of name that most people would find desirable. Then again, who cares?
Engine and Performance
The Adam is available with a choice of two engines, a naturally-aspirated 1.4L engine that is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. This engine is available only on the entry-level model.
The higher spec Jam and Glam models receive a turbocharged 1.0L three-pot engine and fitted with a six speed manual box. The boosted tyke is claimed to deliver 85kW and 170Nm.
Now, some of you might be wondering, how is it even possible for a flagship model to get the smallest engine of the lot? The answer is simple, due to emission laws and the search for cleaner and more efficient engines, most car manufacturers are downsizing.
Yes, this can be a startling fact, but it’s true. More than twenty years ago, you could expect 85kW from a 2.0L engine. These days, it isn’t uncommon to find a smaller engine making ridiculous amounts of power. Ford, Renault and various other manufacturers having been producing small, yet powerful engines, for many years now.
The little 1.0L is the new EcoFlex engine from Opel. Sure, the three-cylinder engine might sound like a sowing machine, but this is a spruced-up version. It doesn’t have much lag at all, thanks to the smaller turbocharger which provides boost from low down in the rev range.
It has heaps of torque through the mid-range but starts to taper around 4000rpm.It gets from 0-100kph in under 10 seconds and will run out of steam at a shade under 200kph. Not bad for such a sowing machine!
Although, it’s quite difficult to call it a performance machine, and it certainly no BMW M4!
However, one of the great things about this engine is how smooth and quiet it is! Even when you rev the engine a bit, you still cannot hear much of the engine thrum from under the bonnet.
There’s one issue that I couldn’t quite understand about the Opel Adam’s little turbo engine. The manufacturer claims that it will sip on just 5.1-litres per 100km as an average fuel consumption. Is this achievable? I don’t know!
The lowest average consumption that I achieved was around 6.9-litres per 100km – a marginal difference in the real world. It’s also got a small fuel tank, which means that you will need to refuel more frequently. My Ford Fiesta 1.4L manages around 650km on a 40L tank, making is more fuel efficient that the Adam!
Other than that, the Adam offers impressive ride quality by soaking up road imperfections with ease. It doesn’t offer a sporty ride because the suspension has been tuned for comfort rather than handling.
It does have an electrically assisted power steering which makes for easy turning of the steering, but I personally think it lacks the sporty feel that we’ve become used to.
On the inside, it’s all about attention to detail and build quality. Everything is well built, the panels line up perfectly and the general appeal of the interior is above average.
However, I must admit that I felt rather claustrophobic. It’s tiny, to say the least, and you’ll find your elbow bumping your passenger’s arm every now and again. And unless you’re a dwarf, there’s no need to make mention of the rear bench. The boot offers only 170-litres of space, and even with the rear seats folded, you’ll barely squeeze in a bag or two of groceries.
The cloth seats are nice and firm and comfy enough for short rides, but it might become a tad uncomfortable over longer journeys. Perhaps Opel will consider adding a leather option to the range in the near future.
The dashboard is well laid out, it made from soft tactile material, while all the centre controls fall easily to hand. It has a full colour 7” touchscreen mounted in the centre and this is one of those modern units which allows you to connect to internet radio and navigation, amongst others. Just ensure that your data bundle is big enough to handle the large amounts of data that you might use!
The entry-level model will set you back R190 000, whilst needing to fork out R233 000 for the flagship Glam model. It’s pricey, but you receive plenty of standard features including automatic lights, cruise control, park assist, ESP and airbags, and rain sensing wipers, amongst others. Usually, you’re only likely to find these features on the options list!
It’s an unusual package, but it has enough in its arsenal to tease Mini and Fiat and, possibly, give them a run for their money. And yes, the customisation options are aplenty… you can have a colour-coded key, or choose a steering wheel and gear lever clad in colour leather of your choice… it’s all up to your imagination.
If you are looking for something unique, trendsetting and funky, then the Adam will appeal to you. It’s likely to appeal more to a young female market, but there’s plenty of funk in its genes to sway the odd male’s buying decision as well.
Has this model made an impact? I think it has and it’s likely to gain a significant amount of market share for Opel in South Africa. Only time can tell how the market will respond the Opel Adam.
The price does include a five-year/120 000km warranty and a three-year/60 000km service plan.
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