When it comes to performance there are two types that customers are interested in because some want lots of mph while others want lots of mpg. Happily the new Corsa range on sale today caters for both and all have a stylish interior. For those who enjoy putting their foot down there are several degrees of sportiness among the models up to the turbocharged VXR Nurburgring which will top 140 mph and needs just 6.5 seconds to accelerate from standing still to 60 mph.
For drivers who want somewhat more sedate progress and at the other end of the speed scale is the little 1.0 litre ecoFLEX which takes 18 seconds to get to 60!
In between these is a good variety of petrol and diesel engines which give a sensible blend of good performance in terms of both mph and mpg. Vauxhall recently updated the Corsa engines which are now more efficient, giving more power from less fuel. On average, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are cut by 13 per cent compared to the previous engines while giving more power – in the case of the ecoFLEX engine, 27 per cent more power!
Most of the gains are technical features inside the engine but there are some new gadgets which can help the driver make the biggest savings on fuel. Lots of the new Corsas now have a shift indicator light on the dashboard within the interior which tells the driver when the change up or down for maximum fuel efficiency, resulting in the car being great in terms of economy.
Another is the Stop/Start device fitted to some diesels. The principle of Start/Stop is simple: instead of the engine idling at traffic lights or in a traffic queue, the engine will automatically stop when the driver engages neutral and releases the clutch pedal. When the traffic lights turn green, the driver simply presses the clutch pedal to re-start the engine, engage first and move away. Naturally, the car’s ventilation, power steering and braking system performance is maintained while the engine is temporarily off.
Drivers who use their cars frequently in town driving, where the Corsa’s Start/Stop function will come in to its own, will see the biggest gains in fuel consumption where the Corsa EcoFLEX 1.3 CDTi Start/Stop achieves an official urban figure of 67mpg.
The main performance numbers for the various engines are as follows:
The entry-level 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine now develops 65PS and 90Nm of torque compared with 60PS and 88Nm for the previous version, while fuel consumption/C02 emissions have been reduced by around 12 per cent to 56.5mpg and 117g/km from 50.4mpg and 134g/km.
Now fitted with double cam phasing, the 1.2-litre engine offers 85PS and 115Nm of torque. For this unit, fuel consumption and emissions have been improved by 10 per cent (53.3mpg & 124g/km vs 48.7mpg &139g/km).
The new 1.4-litre engine has more power and torque than before (100PS and 130Nm vs 90PS & 125Nm for the old car), yet with a combined fuel consumption of 51.4mpg and 129g/km there’s a 11 per cent improvement over the old engine. The 0-60mph time for the 1.4-litre model is 11.3 seconds.
The flagship petrol engine is the turbocharged 1.6 fitted to the VXR Nurburgring we mentioned earlier. This is revised version of the VXR engine which now develops 205PS at 5,750rpm (up from 192PS) and 250-280Nm of torque (up from 230-266Nm). The 0-60 time is 6.5 seconds and maximum speed is 143 mph.
On the diesel front the Corsa ecoFLEX 1.3 CDTi motor now uses a turbocharger with variable geometry to reduce throttle lag (that delay between pressing the accelerator and getting the engine power which used to be a characteristic of turbocharged engines) and delivers 95PS, up from 75PS for the old model. Torque also increases to 190Nm between 1750 and 3250rpm. Fuel consumption and C02 emissions are cut by some 7 per cent, with the ecoFLEX achieving an excellent 76.3mpg and 98g/km for 3-door models (99g/km for 5-door models).
Two further ecoFLEX versions of the Corsa are also available: a 75PS and 90PS, which come equipped with a five- and six-speed gearbox respectively both are styled to a very high degree.
The range-topping 1.7 CDTi diesel engine also gains power and torque, but yet again achieves improved mpg and C02 figures. With 130PS, there’s an increase of 5PS compared with the old model, while torque has risen from 280 to 300Nm, although it’s now delivered over a wider rev range, and benefits from a shift indicator. A near 8 percent reduction in combined fuel consumption and emissions means that the 1.7 CDTi headlines with 62.8mpg and 118g/km for the three door version.
The most powerful diesel in the Corsa’s range, the 1.7 CDTi can reach 60mph from zero in 8.9 seconds and sprint to a top speed of 124mph, both figures an improvement over the old model.
This is an impressive engine range and you can find good deals on most of them in the Vauxhall showrooms. Obviously, specialist versions such as the VXR Nurburgring command a strong price but on the more mainstream models you can find big savings – and with the latest engine technology under their bonnets you are going to save money on both the purchase price and at the fuel pumps.