► New 2019 Vauxhall Corsa-e goes rallying
► Will cost under £50k
► Just as fun as the production car, we're told
How do you make your electric vehicle (EV) more interesting? If you’re VW, you build a race-spec hill-raider, paint on the same headlights as your roadgoing electric car and then break some irrelevant lap records with the ID R. But if you’re Opel/Vauxhall you slap a few stickers on your supermini - and make it an electric rally car. And then you launch a racing series with it, too.
That’s an electric Corsa?
Well, it’s an Opel Corsa-e, the all-electric version of Vauxhall’s hatchback that’s being introduced for this generation. It’ll sit alongside the Peugeot e-208 and DS3 e-Tense, which share the same electrified platform – and it's aimed squarely at the likes of the latest Nissan Leaf.
This Corsa electric rally car will compete in the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, which is beginning in summer 2020. Cars will produce a manageable 128bhp of power with 192lb ft of torque, and should cost around £46,000.
For more information on the production car, keep reading.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e (the electric one)
Vauxhall has already released images of its new Corsa-e supermini (above), set to go on sale early next year for £26,790, and it looks near-identical to its combustion engine brethren. It's telling that the company elected to reveal the electric Corsa first, signalling its importance as the world inexorably switches from oil to electrons.
The new Corsa-e certainly ushers in a clean new design, with more upright proportions and a shorter overhang. The car is also 48mm lower with a 28mm lower hip point for a lower driving position. A 28mm longer wheelbase means a smidge of extra room inside. Electric car-specific cues include bespoke badges and a unique wheel design.
More on the ICE Corsa here
Inside, Vauxhall has told us that everything you see and touch is of their design (not that of PSA origin), save for the trigger shifter on the auto gearbox and the Groupe-derived seven or 10.1-inch infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard, as will a digital instrument cluster. A huge barrage of safety aids will be available, too.
A 50kWh battery and a 100kW (134bhp and 192lb ft) motor means 205 miles of range under the WLTP cycle, which Vauxhall claims can be boosted by up to 40% by the Corsa-e's Eco mode. A 0-31mph speed has been recorded at 3.1 seconds, while the 0-62mph sprint is dealt with in 8.1sec.
Due to the CMP platform, the electric powertrain does not intrude on passenger or luggage space, so there's 309 litres of boot space (up from 285) - and that's the same for the combustion engine cars. Engineers claim the new Corsa has the best aero yet, too.
Here are the best electric cars you can buy right now
Vauxhall has sold 2.1 million Corsas in the UK since 1993. Across Europe, make that more than 13m. So electrifying this popular small car seems like a clever step - propelling Vauxhall from also-ran to class-competitive at a stroke.
Anything else we know about Vauxhall's electric range?
Well, Vauxhall has also confirmed that the next Mokka X will be electric when it's revealed in 2020. Design-wise, it'll be heavily inspired by the GT X Experimental concept. A new electric Vivaro van will come in 2020, and an electrified version of every model will be on sale by 2024.
Further electric car reading
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
The best hybrids, plug-ins and PHEVs
Wireless electric car charging