Ignoring provisos about spin cycles, we report on some news.
Despite the question marks which remain poised above Groupe PSA’s revival under Carlos Tavares, one cannot deny that the French carmaking giant seems to be playing something of a blinder at present. Last week, following leaked photos which surfaced online, Opel released official images and some details of the forthcoming Corsa B-segment model, due to
go on sale later in the year.
Having initially been partially developed on a General Motors-sourced platform, in an remarkably swift turnaround following PSA’s acquisition of the German carmaker in 2017, the Corsa was fast-tracked onto the newly developed CMP shared-architecture which also underpins not only the curious-looking DS 3 Crossback but the new-generation and rather handsome Peugeot 208.
While the current GM-sourced Corsa is built both in Eisenach and Zaragosa, the new-generation model (will it be dubbed Corsa F, or is Opel’s naming system defunct now?) will be built exclusively in Spain and, like its PSA cousins, will come exclusively in a five-door bodystyle.
What we see before us is a tidy looking, well proportioned B-segment hatch, which contrives to appear slightly more graphically restrained than the Peugeot 208 it’s based upon, but is likely, according to PSA, to appeal to a different audience – we’ll have to see about that. But what it seems likely to do is transform Opel/ Vauxhall’s market fortunes in the wake of its lacklustre predecessor – a car which has been kept in production almost a decade later than by right it ought – something of a Corsa speciality under GME.
Also experiencing something of a creative outpouring of late is BMW, who yesterday revealed a new variation of their X2 crossover, offering customers not only a slightly lower hip-point, but in addition, an equally diminished price point. Like the new Corsa, the latest 1-Series hatchback is front driven, which allows the storied Bavarian carmaker to offer a more commodious cabin, although unlike the Rüsselsheim offering (said to be 48 mm lower than its predecessor), BMW make no mention of the 1-er’s centre of gravity.
Following the mainstream carmakers’ lead, BMW it seems have chosen not to build the new 1-Series in three-door format. Nevertheless, downsizing 2-Series Active/ Gran Tourer customers will find plenty to appreciate in the Einer, which BMW have thoughtfully styled to vaguely resemble the Leipzig-built minivan, to say nothing of its sportier and more athletic X2 crossover equivalent.
Styling is, in the current BMW idiom, a striking synthesis of athleticism, dynamic purpose and surprising practicality, with the now trademark larger, more prominent grille treatment, deep, rising beltline and the iconic ‘van Hoydoonk kink’ at the C-pillar ensuring that the One will be greatly admired wherever it goes.
But while the Veirzylinder are making vague noises about the FAAR platform supporting hybrid drivetrains, albeit at some as yet undefined point, PSA have confirmed a fully-electric Corsa will go on sale in the early part of next year. Advantage Rüsselsheim?
While it’s far too early to establish exactly how much better a job of running a car business Mr. Tavares is doing by contrast with his embattled München Milbertshofen equivalent, on current form one has to deduce that the Lion really is going from strength to strength.