This is the brand new Vauxhall Adam, a highly-customisable city car that Vauxhall hopes will challenge the established premium superminis, like the Mini, Audi A1, Citroen DS3 and Fiat 500.
But what’s the thinking behind calling this Vauxhall ‘Adam’?
Try to ignore the name as best you can. It’s all to do with Opel (Vauxhall’s German sister brand) naming the car after the company’s founder Adam Opel. Thankfully the rest of this car is less embarrassing than the questionable badge you’ll end up explaining to everyone.
At 3.7m long and 1.7m wide, the Adam is around the same length as the current Mini hatchback, and slightly wider. That ample body is festooned with design trinkets and flourishes a world apart from the neat-but-anonymous Corsa.
The front grille bears a version of the new moustachioed chrome flourish also seen on the facelifted Astra, while the quad light arrangement at the front somewhat recalls the Fiat 500’s cutesy phizzog. Vauxhall also proclaims the Adam as the first car in its class to have the option of LED daytime running lights. Clearly they don’t view the LED-bejewelled Citroen DS3 as a rival, then…
Contrasting roof arches are a successful look cribbed from the Audi A1, though the Adam sets itself apart at the rear with a clever ‘floating’ C-pillar element (not dissimilar to an upside-down ‘shark fin’ from the Citroen DS3) accentuated by chrome side strips and an obligatory ‘Adam’ badge where the pillar tails off.
It’s not just a magpie design – there are some original Vauxhall cues on the Adam, too. That crease around the door handle is straight from the Astra GTC, and that styling line along the sills? An Insignia trick that’s since spread across the entire Vauxhall range. The attractive wheels range from 16 inches in size – if you choose 17s or 18s you get the lowered sports chassis thrown in.
Is the new Vauxhall Adam’s interior just as funky?
The riot of colour and technology Vauxhall hopes will appeal to style-conscious is here in spades. Bright inserts for the dashboard panel (Fiat 500, anyone?) as well as the centre console and steering wheel lift the Adam’s cabin far beyond anything else out of Luton.
A seven-inch touchscreen interface dominates the interior. It’s iPhone and Android compatible, and can access internet-downloaded apps in the same manner as the new Renault Clio. Navigation and infotainment controls are all grouped into this one central hub.
What’s the under-bonnet spec of the Vauxhall Adam?
The Adam is the first Vauxhall to benefit from the marque’s new engine range. Powertrain options – all four-pot petrol engines – start with a 69bhp 1.2-litre, and rise to a 1.4-litre in two states of tune: 86bhp and 99bhp. All will be available with optional stop-start technology and come with a five-speed manual gearbox.
You can choose from three trim levels from launch: hilariously named ‘Jam’ (fashionable/colourful), ‘Glam’ (elegant/sophisticated) and ‘Slam’ (racy/sporty).
When can I have Adam?
No jokes please, this name’s going to be around for a while.
After debuting at the Paris motor show in September 2012, Adams will be available at Vauxhall dealers from January 2013. No official prices have been revealed, but CAR understands the Adam will kick off from around £9000 – nearly £3k less than a base-spec Mini, and around £1k cheaper than a Fiat 500.