The car’s body is significantly stiffer than before, while the platform was developed from the ground-up as an all-new design. It has a new short front subframe, allowing for optimum chassis geometry, and a torsion-beam rear axle with three roll-rate levels.
Depending on which engine is used, these provide an ideal alignment to the different front axle loads, ensuring the car remains level and stable at all times.
Other chassis features include a V-shaped positioning of the rear trailing arms, damping at the front axle and low-friction suspension joints, all helping deliver the best in ride quality.
An enhanced steering system also makes its debut in the new model. The height and reach-adjustable wheel controls a speed-dependent Electronic Power Steering system, which on sportier models has a variable ratio, making it easy to manoeuvre in town, but delivering a much meatier feel on faster stretches of road or when cruising at speed.
Optional ESP and Hill Start Assist further add to New Corsa’s dynamic capabilities, while it also comes with Straight Line Stability Control (SLS), which works in line with the Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) to help prevent the car from skidding under heavy braking, especially useful on uneven or badly cambered roads.
As well as the many active safety features demonstrated by its dynamic chassis design, New Corsa has been designed to offer the best levels of protection in even the most extreme circumstances.
The car is made from the highest quality steel, and assembled under strict quality controlled conditions at two plants - Zaragoza in Spain and Eisenach in Germany.
Under heavy braking, when the ABS is activated, the brake lights flash five times per second to warn following motorists, while if airbags or seatbelt pre-tensioners are activated in an accident, the car’s safety system will automatically switch on the hazard warning lights.
Should an accident occur, New Corsa has been designed to offer the best protection for its occupants. Two-stage front airbags, side airbags for both front passengers and head curtain airbags along the entire length of the cabin help cushion any impact, while the passenger airbag can be deactivated if using a rear-facing baby carrier via a button on the instrument panel.
Seatbelt pre-tensioners secure the seatbelts to hold passengers in position, while GM’s patented Pedal Release System automatically drops the pedals away from the driver’s feet in the event of a heavy frontal collision.
New Corsa has also been designed to meet the latest stringent passenger safety test criteria.
The Vauxhall Corsa has always been synonymous with great value for money, and the all-new model successfully continues that well-garnered reputation.
Prices will start at just £7,495 for the 1.0-litre 3-dr Expression, rising to £13,795 for the flagship 5-dr Design 1.7 CDTi. That makes the entry-level car exceptionally competitive in its class – both better equipped and less expensive than the outgoing base model Corsa!
Equipment levels are generous, with even the Expression getting a CD player, electric door mirrors, dual front airbags and a folding ignition key.
Moving up the range, the Life gets welcome lighting, remote central locking and power front windows.
Club trim adds side and curtain airbags, an MP3 compatible audio system, the Dual Load floor, body-coloured door handles and side mouldings and steering wheel audio controls.
SXi variants get heated door mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, sports front seats, a leather-covered steering wheel, sports suspension, fog lights, a visible chrome tailpipe and dark-style headlamps, while plush Design models come with automatic lighting control, rain sensing wipers, air-conditioning and chrome-edged dials.
New Corsa will be available at Vauxhall Retailers from October.Published 16 September 2006