By Franky Johnson
The new Opel Corsa Turbo Sport is identified by subtle OPC Line Kit add-ons for customers who want to show their sporty ambitions. The standard kit includes front and rear bumper extensions, side rocker mouldings, sporty exhaust tip, carbon look outside rear view mirror covers, and 17 inch Dark Titanium wheels, which on the test car were shod with Conti 215/45R17 low profile radials. On the inside is where you see the difference, as the fit and finish is much better than before. There are a few shiny plastics, but overall it has one of the best interiors in this class.
The wing-shaped instrument panel top-pad is enhanced by the all new leather covered flat bottom sport steering wheel with silver bezel, alloy sports pedals, leather gear shift knob from the Corsa OPC and .OPC Handbrake lever and jet black leather. The cloth covered Moonray Sports seats are well bolstered, comfortable and very supportive during spirited driving while the pattern adds to the ambience of the cabin.
Also standard in the Sport is Opel's award-winning IntelliLink infotainment system, with seven-inch colour touch-screen, which brings the connected world of smartphones and apps into the car. IntelliLink is fully compatible with the latest Android and Apple iOS-based smartphones, while audio streaming via Bluetooth and USB also includes Gracenote music management and identification technology.
To get satnav however, you need download BringGo, which is IntelliLink's navigation app for your smartphone. It can be easily downloaded from the phone's app store and BringGo solely uses the smartphone's GPS to locate the Corsa.
It can be easily downloaded from the phone's app store and, once downloaded, the map data remains installed on the user's smartphone, which means Corsa owners do not need an ongoing smartphone broadband connection to use the BringGo navigation system. BringGo solely uses the smartphone's GPS to locate the Corsa. BringGo also provides functionality for live traffic updates, accident information, Points of Interest (POIs) and Google search.
The Opel Corsa Sport, as the name implies, is aimed at the sporty driver and is a dynamic and versatile hatch powered by a 1.4 turbo-charged ecoTEC engine pushing out 110 kW at 5 000 rpm and 220 Nm of torque from 3 000 rpm, and is linked to a six speed manual transmission with synchronised gears, including reverse, with short shift travel. The gearbox has a cable shift system for improved shiftability, sync reverse gear and hydraulic clutch actuation.
According to the specs the Corsa 1.4T Sport’s 4-cylinder turbo-charged engine propels the Corsa from a standing start to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds, with a top speed of 204 km/h. Fuel consumption is given as 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, however the best I got while I had the car on test was 7.4 litres per 100 kms which is probably more realistic in normal driving. The comprehensive list of safety features include six airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control to prevent wheel slip, Straight line Stability and Brake Assist. Also included are 25 Watt bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light control, LED daytime running lights, an auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlight control. Opel's new-generation Advanced Park Assist 2 and Side Blind Zone Alert is available as a R5 000 option.
Moving inside, the Corsa has electric front windows – the rears are wind-up -a heated windscreen, rear window washer/wiper, air-conditioning and automatic lights and wipers. There's plenty of headroom in the front and back, and the Corsa will fit four average sized adults very comfortably on the front bucket seats, and is reasonably comfortable for the rear seat passengers, and It has a pretty decent boot.
Driven around town the Corsa Sport feels right at home, and the 1.4-litre turbo has more than enough poke for the day-to-day driving and plenty in reserve when on the freeways. The engine and gearbox pair up nicely, and make the Corsa Sport fun to drive, and the car can nip in and out of morning traffic quite safely.
Then there’s “City Mode” which at the touch of a button increases power steering assistance at lower speeds, which is particularly useful for parallel parking or when manoeuvring in congested urban areas.
Compared to the standard Corsa, the Sport, with its firmer set-up and low profile rubber, is a touch harsher over sharp-edged bumps, but it makes the Corsa keener and more fun to turn in to corners, reduces body lean and is never uncomfortable. Also when pushing hard through tight corners at high speed, the Corsa Sport exhibits loads of grip as the firm suspension keeps understeer and body roll to a minimum.
Travelling on the highway at a steady 120 km/h the motor revs at 2 900 rpm in 6th gear, while the 1.4-litre turbo motor is surprisingly quiet and smooth-revving even under fast acceleration.
The Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo Sport five door retails at R257 800 which includes Opel’s 5-year / 120 000 km warranty and a 3-year / 60 000 km service plan.