Late last month, Opel unveiled the Corsa GSi hatchback – a potent three-door that will remain forbidden fruit in the U.S. The funky supermini is sporty, with its bigger air vents, red brake calipers, 18-inch wheels, and chrome exhaust tip. However, Opel didn’t reveal any details about the powertrain. We speculated on what engine the three-door hot hatch could receive, and it appears we weren’t too far off in our guess.
A turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, producing 150 horsepower (110 kilowatts) and 162 pound-feet (220 Newton-meters) of torque. That may not seem like much, but that gives the little runabout 100-hp/liter. The engine pairs with a short-ration, six-speed gearbox. Opel says the Corsa GSi will go from zero to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is 129 mph.
These aren’t supercar levels of performance, but for a three-door hatch, the combination will be plenty fun to drive. The use of the Sport chassis borrowed from hardcore OPC version should give the GSi a feeling of nimbleness around corners, and during spirited driving.
Gallery: 2018 Opel Corsa GSi
There are no images of the Corsa GSi’s interior, but customers should expect a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, a leather-wrapped gearshift knob, aluminum sport pedal, and optional Recaro seats. Exterior design touches include the revised fascia, red brake calipers, prominent rear spoiler, and molded side sills. The Corsa GSi looks just sporty enough without looking cartoonish, and it also differentiates itself from the less-sport Corsa models in the Opel lineup.
The Opel Corsa GSi should go on sale later this year in Europe, which will have its Vauxhall-badged counterpart heading for the U.K. market. There’s little chance we’ll get the Opel Corsa GSi in the U.S., even with PSA – which now owns Opel – planning a comeback to the country. This will likely be the last performance model for this generation of the Corsa.
Gallery: Opel Corsa GSi
New Opel Corsa GSi Powertrain Promises Great Driving Fun
When the new Opel Corsa GSi follows the Insignia GSi onto the market this summer, it will be powered by the brand’s punchy 1.4-liter turbo engine with 110 kW/150 hp and 220 Nm of torque (fuel consumption l/100 km: 7.9-7.8 urban, 5.4-5.2 extra-urban, 6.3-6.2 combined, CO2 g/km 147-143 combined). Thus Opel’s “hot hatchback” is not only quick off the mark (zero to 100 km/h is covered in only 8.9 seconds), it also impresses with great elasticity – on its way to the maximum speed of 207 km/h, the Corsa GSi takes just 9.9 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear. The “pocket-rocket” from Rüsselsheim is also part of Opel’s Euro 6d-TEMP rollout.
When configuring the engine, which delivers a specific power output of more than 100 hp/litre, engineers specifically optimised responsiveness for great driving fun on winding country roads. Thus, the turbocharged engine with short-ratio, six-speed gearbox impresses with outstanding punch in second and third gears as well as a maximum torque plateau of 3,000 to 4,500 rpm tailor-made for spirited driving.
The Corsa GSi also emits pure precision: The sport chassis known from the OPC version and the brakes with red calipers ensure precise athleticism, outstanding handling and short braking distances also when combined with the optional 18-inch light alloy wheels with high-grip 215/40 R18 tyres.
The high performance of the new Corsa GSi is matched by the athletic exterior looks. It has a characteristic design with large air intakes, sculptured bonnet, prominent rear spoiler and precisely modelled side sills.
From the front, the cheeky Opel GSi fascia with large honeycomb grille and the central Opel Blitz supported by two wings, along with the exterior rear view mirror housings in carbon racing-look become visible. The large chrome-ringed design elements that are visually connected in a horizontal line via black crosspieces running across the front, along with the black traverse cleat on the bonnet support the impression of road-clinging athlete. The vibrant styling is also present when viewed from the rear. The prominent spoiler on the edge of the roof creates additional downforce, the sporty chrome tailpipe is framed by the vibrant design of the rear apron in body colour.
The pure feeling of sportiness is also conveyed by the interior. The Corsa GSi driver sits on the optional Recaro performance seat and puts his hands on the sports steering wheel. Select the gear via the leather gearshift knob, put your foot on the aluminium sport pedal and pure driving pleasure commences.