Developed for the B segment and positioned below the Kadett, the Opel Corsa was launched 40 years ago and has already seen six generations. It is also one of the most successful models of the German brand with more than 14 million units sold since 1982.
In the year that Opel marks its 160th anniversary, one of its best-selling models ever, the Corsa, also celebrates its 40th anniversary. Launched in 1982, this B-segment model is now in its sixth generation and has sold over 14 million units.
The Corsa was designed to be positioned below the Kadett, a small model that had been designed to bring an affordable car to the market.
Six generations of the Opel Corsa
Over time, little Kadett grew and became more powerful, approaching the family segment. This left room for the introduction of a more compact model for the B-segment.
Always technologically evolved
The first unit of the new model rolled off the production line at the Zaragoza plant, built shortly before, in the autumn of 1982. Since then, more than 14 million units have been produced, most of which were built in Zaragoza and Eisenach.
The success of Opel’s SUV is largely due to the technologies that have been introduced in its six generations and that were previously only available in higher-end vehicles.
New Opel Corsa already has prices
Among these technologies, safety and assistance systems such as ABS and airbags stand out, as well as the front camera with distance indication, traffic sign recognition and lane-keeping assistant and even more recently, the Intelli-Lux LED Matrix adaptive and anti-glare lighting. In the latest generation, presented in 2019, it is also available in a battery-electric version.
Race A: 1982 – 1993
With a length of 3.62 meters, the first Opel Corsa stood out for its compact dimensions, its creased and protruding fenders, like a rally car, and an exceptionally low drag coefficient of 0.36, which was , possibly a record in its segment.
Chief designer Erhard Schnell had created a small sports car, with sharp, chiseled lines, designed to appeal particularly to the so-called “man of the house”.
The sportier version was the 100 hp GSi in a range that also now features diesel engines. The offer was also extended in 1985 with the five-door model that joined the two-door, in hatchback and notchback bodywork.
The Opel Corsa was very popular, with more than 3.1 million units being produced.
Race B: 1993 – 2000
The second generation of the Opel Corsa appeared in 1993 and was designed to be more appealing to the female audience. The design of the new model was created by Hideo Kodama, who created a much rounder and smoother Corsa, with eye-catching circular headlights that perfectly fit its attractive and younger look.
The Corsa B was ten centimeters longer and more spacious inside than its predecessor, while also introducing higher safety standards in its segment, including ABS braking, side impact protection and front airbags.
In some markets, the hatchback body offering has been reinforced with the notchback, as well as station wagon and pickup variants. Gasoline engines already had technology such as fuel injection and catalytic converters, while the GSi had a 16-valve head and diesel power was now associated with supercharging.
Sales of the second generation Corsa exceeded four million units worldwide.
Race C: 2000 – 2006
Opel design legend Hideo Kodama was once again responsible for the design of the third generation Corsa, whose style was not far from the successful formula of its predecessor.
The Opel SUV has grown by another ten centimeters, thanks to a longer wheelbase, which has considerably increased the interior space. For the first time, the bodywork was fully galvanized.
The range received sophisticated ECOTEC petrol engines with four valves per cylinder and the new direct injection turbo diesel engines ensured power, low fuel consumption and lower emission values, as all variants already met Euro 4 emission standards. .
The Corsa C was also highly commercially successful, with 2.5 million out of 2.5 million units sold.
Race D: 2006 – 2014
The fourth generation of the Corsa is characterized by the separation of style between the three- and five-door models. The first variant took on a specific design, inspired by the coupé and aimed at more sporty customers, like the original Corsa A.
The five-door model, on the other hand, became a spacious family car. The Corsa D was still less than four meters long, even though it had grown to exactly 3,999 meters.
With Opel’s ecoFLEX technology, the Corsa now has fuel-saving Start/Stop systems and more efficient engines. The 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX version consumed just 3.3 l/100 km during the combined cycle and emitted just 88 g/km of CO2 (according to the NEDC cycle).
The fourth generation Corsa sold over 2.9 million units.
Race E: 2014 – 2019
For the first time, the Opel Corsa exceeded four meters in length, having been designed to offer greater comfort to users and advanced technologies.
A heated steering wheel, seat heating and automatic climate control were available as well as a front camera with distance indicator, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assist.
Corsa drivers are now connected via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink infotainment systems, including a seven-inch color touchscreen.
The top sports model was initially the Corsa OPC with a 207 hp engine, and later the Corsa GSi with 150 hp was also introduced.
Race F: 2019 –
The sixth generation of the Opel Corsa was presented at the 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show and, for the first time, is also available in a battery-electric version.
One of the innovations in this generation and in the utility segment is the adaptive, anti-glare lighting, Intelli-Lux LED Matrix. In addition, numerous state-of-the-art assistance systems are proposed, such as forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, as well as the radar-based adaptive cruise control, which make driving even safer and more relaxed. .
The Opel Corsa F has an exterior length of 4.06 meters and despite the coupé-like roofline being 4.8 centimeters lower than its predecessor, there was no loss in terms of headroom.
The driving position is reduced by 2.8 centimeters in height, while the low center of gravity benefits driving performance as well as road holding.
This generation of the Opel Corsa has an electric version, whose driveline includes a 100 kW (136 hp) electric motor and 50 kWh battery, which provides a range of up to 330 kilometers in WLTP cycle.