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Opel’s funky, moody hatch
Yet unlike the Fiat or Mini, Opel is following the Citroën DS3's path in offering something that's modern and sporty rather than retro. Its name is rather nostalgic though, honouring the company's founder Adam Opel - who incidentally never got to see his bicycle company build its first car.
We're not sure if there's any link to the fact that Opel's design vice president is called Mark Adams.
Nonetheless, he claims that no other car in this trendy segment can be personalised as much at the Opel Adam, with more than a million combinations available.
There are three basic trims (or 'moods' as Opel's opted to call them) - meaning customers will start off by choosing either an Adam Slam (sporty), Adam Jam (unconventional, colourful) or Adam Glam (elegant, sophisticated). From here buyers will face a wide choice of interior and exterior colours, three roof colours and plenty of cabin décor options.
You can even have an LED 'starlit' roof trim.
“It's unlikely our customers will see another car like theirs,” Adams concludes.
Stretching almost 3.7 metres in length and 1.72m in width, Adam is slightly bigger than the 500 and a tad shorter, albeit wider, than the Mini hatch. The engine range kicks off at the smaller end of the spectrum, with the initial range offering three petrol engines - a 51kW 1.2 and a pair of 1.4s with output levels of 64kW and 74kW. All are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Further down the line, Opel will also offer a new downsized, turbocharged petrol engine with direct injection. This will be mated to a six-speed manual 'box.
While the initial models don't appear too high-tech beneath the skin, the cabin's electronic indulgence should make up for this in the eyes of most customers.
The Adam is available with a new onboard infotainment system that can fully integrate with the owner's smartphone, providing they're on an Android or Apple iOS platform. Pretty much all of your smartphone content, including GPS navigation, is then displayed on a seven-inch colour touch screen.
A few high-end driver assistance systems also make their way into this size segment via the Adam, with Advanced Parking Assist (with auto-steer) and Side Blind Spot Alert being available.
Sadly our GMSA contact says there are no current plans to bring Adam to South Africa.