I’ve recently become a disciple of GM. No, I’m not under spell by my General Manager, and I’m not taking to learn more about the short-lived Genetically Modified. Nope, I’ve fallen in love with the Corsa , a hot hatch built by General Motors’ Germany-based Opel division. The only GM I’ve recognised for the past 18 months – or so.
It’s easy to get carried away with power figures because they get tossed around so much in the auto industry. 200, 230, 190, 210; it’s all theoretical until you have your butt in the driver’s seat and your foot buried in the throttle.
Behind the wheel, 207 is about spot on for the Corsa. Remember, it’s the size of a Toyota Etios and it tips the scale at 118kg. Any more power would make the Corsa overwhelming to drive on the street, and any less would make it feel sluggish.
The turbo is what makes the fire-breathing Corsa stand out from its rivals, including the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo. In many pocket-sized hot hatches, the engine lacks a pulse until the turbocharger kicks in, it spins itself dizzy in the middle of the torque band, and it wheezes to the rev limiter.
The turbo is what makes the fire-breathing Corsa stand out from its rivals.
The Corsa is quick off the line because the torque comes on relatively early, the engine pulls hard and steady right through the middle of the torque band, and it becomes downright explosive once the tach needle passes the 3,000-rpm mark. It’s like if the four-banger just drank a Big Gulp’s worth of Red Bull after shooting three espressos – if that makes sense.
The Opel Corsa 1.4 T Sport will set you back R225 200