The new Vauxhall Adam Rocks is surely one of the most bizarre new car niches to wing its way to this year’s Geneva motor show.
To create this supermini crossover, Vauxhall has raised the ride height of the Adam city car by 15mm, fitted workmanlike plastic body cladding – and taken a tin-opener to the roof. Yep, you can retract the canvas roof’s centre section, in the same style as a Fiat 500C or Citroen DS3 Cabrio.
A drop-top off-roading supermini – really?
Yes, really. The Adam rocks remains front-wheel drive, so it won’t challenge the new Fiat Panda Cross’s off-piste gusto away from trendy city streets. However, Vauxhall claims the Adam Rocks has received retuned damping rates, revised suspension geometry and recalibrated steering to accompany the loftier ride height and 18in alloys.
The triple-layer canvas roof folds rearwards electrically in five seconds, and doesn’t impinge on boot space when retracted.
What’s under the bonnet?
At long last, the entire Adam range is getting a much-needed 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine. It’ll debut in the Adam Rocks, and surely overshadow the wheezy naturally aspirated four-pots that the otherwise funky Adam has been hamstrung with since launch.
The 1.0-litre engine develops a healthy 114bhp and 122lb ft. An 89bhp of the same turbo’ed triple will also be available, and both versions will ditch the notchy five-speed manual in current Adams for a new six-speeder.
You’d have to be a little eccentric to lust after a jacked-up drop-top supermini, but if you’re stark-raving bonkers, you can still buy an Adam Rocks with the underwhelming four-cylinder non-turbo engines. They come in 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre guises, but don’t be tempted!
You’ll be able to order your own Adam Rocks in August 2014, when official pricing will be announced. Expect to pay a £1000 premium for the canvas-roofed critter.
Stay tuned to CAR’s Geneva motor show coverage for news of a 138bhp Adam ‘S’ warm hatch, using a higher-tuned version of the 1.0-litre triple.