The all-new Vauxhall Corsa supermini is nearing the end of its development programme, with the final mules tackling winter testing
The new Vauxhall Corsa is entering the final stages of its development programme, with the final mules undergoing their winter assessment in Swedish Lapland. The firm’s latest supermini is due to reach the UK market in the summer this year, with a choice of both fossil fuel and all-electric powertrains.
Vauxhall’s winter testing programme focused on fine-tuning the new Corsa’s chassis set-up, as well as refining its ABS and traction control systems. Its mechanical and electrical systems have also been extensively tested for durability in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius.
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The firm claims its new supermini will strike a keen balance between sportiness and comfort, thanks to its new lightweight underpinnings, redesigned body shell and fresh aluminium engines. Vauxhall claims a 10 per cent reduction in weight across the range, with the lightest variant squeezing under the one-tonne mark, with a kerb weight of just 980kg.
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The new Vauxhall Corsa’s body will be constructed from a range of high-strength steels, stitched together in the most weight-conscious manner, saving a total of 40kg over the outgoing model. A new aluminium bonnet will also replace the previous Corsa’s steel unit, saving a further 2.4kg.
Under the bonnet, Vauxhall’s latest range of aluminium three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will save around 15kg over the old Corsa’s four-cylinder units. Inside, Vauxhall has also managed to shave a total of 10kg off the seats, losing 5.5kg at the front and 4.5kg at the rear. In total, the firm claims a total weight saving of 108kg.
Despite the weight-loss, the upcoming Corsa will be slightly larger than its predecessor, with its bigger body and longer wheelbase unlocking more interior and boot space. Our most recently-spied mule is also further evidence that Vauxhall will ditch the Corsa’s three-door body style, as the only prototypes spied thus far have been practical five-door models.
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Due to Vauxhall’s recent acquisition by the PSA Group, the new Corsa will be built on Peugeot-Citroen’s latest Common Modular Platform (CMP). The underpinnings are shared with the new Peugeot 208, so it’s reasonable to suggest that the Corsa’s weight savings have also been applied to the French firm’s new supermini.
Vauxhall claims these revisions will improve both the Corsa’s performance and efficiency, with the firm promising better acceleration and reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Vauxhall has also confirmed that an all-electric version of the new Corsa will eventually feature in the range, alongside its range of conventionally-powered cousins.
The new Corsa’s engine range will consist exclusively of PSA units, shared with the new 208. A new generation of the BlueHDi diesel is being developed, which will downsize from a 1.6 to a 1.5-litre capacity, offering power outputs ranging from around 75bhp to 120bhp, with CO2 emissions as low as 75g/km. However, it’s unknown if it will be offered in the UK.
PSA’s PureTech petrol engine will also get a refresh, with the three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbos offering improved performance and efficiency. A more potent 1.6-litre turbo will also be made available to Vauxhall if it chooses to develop a Corsa VXR hot hatch.
While the vast majority of the running gear will be shared by the 208 and Corsa, Vauxhall will have its own say in terms of interior and exterior design. One of Vauxhall’s planned features is a set of glare-free LED Matrix headlights. The lighting technology is usually reserved for premium manufacturers and works by automatically adapting to the traffic ahead, “cutting out” oncoming cars from its beam. The system supposedly maintains visibility for the driver and reduces glare for other motorists.
Finite details of the new Corsa’s styling are difficult to identify, as the masking does a good job of hiding its features. However, we can tell it will adopt a less boxy appearance than our exclusive render, with a curvier nose and a more sharply-tapering tail. A larger rear wing and a wider bumper intake also feature.
Do you like the look of the new 2019 Vauxhall Corsa? Let us know in the comments section below…