Holden is studying all new models available globally more intensely since announcing in late 2013 that it would end local manufacturing. The company is aiming to become the country’s most popular brand by 2020.
The company has already committed to bringing the Opel Astra GTC and OPC hatches, Opel Insignia OPC performance medium car and Opel Cascada convertible in 2015 as Holdens after the German arm of General Motors last year abandoned its return to the Australian market after just a year.
Holden currently covers the city car segment with the Korean-made Barina, which in previous generations has been a rebadged Opel Corsa. The company could follow the Astra and Insignia strategy and just import the upcoming OPC hot-hatch version of the Corsa, though a spokeswoman told CarAdvice it didn’t have any further new products to confirm for now but said all vehicles were under consideration.
"We are looking at the global portfolio to see what fits best for Australia,” said Kate Lonsdale, Holden’s senior manager for product communications. “We're not ruling anything out, though we have only announced three new products at this stage and there's nothing new to announce at this stage."
The fifth iteration of the Corsa is seen here wearing Vauxhall badges, as the car will be known in the UK.
It’s based on the platform of the outgoing model and retains a similar length but has had a sufficiently thorough overhaul both mechanically and stylistically.
A redesigned chassis features a new suspension with no carry-over components, while the Corsa’s centre of gravity has been lowered by 5mm to aid handling.
The Opel Corsa will be available with two suspension tunes: Comfort and Sport.
It gains new electric steering, while a revised engine line-up sees the introduction of a new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder. Dubbed Ecotec, the engine is available in two power outputs – 66kW and 85kW – with torque rated at 170Nm (from 1800rpm) for both.
The 1.3 turbo diesel is updated to be compliant with Euro 6 emissions regulations, the 1.4-litre turbo petrol has been improved for fuel economy, and other engines include non-turbo 1.2- and 1.4-litre units.
New gearboxes feeding power to the front wheels are both six-speeders, in manual or auto form.
Inside the all-new sheetmetal is a revised interior with a new dash design. It incorporates a 7.0-inch touchscreen that’s at the heart of the car’s IntelliLink multimedia system, compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones and with integrated app system.
New driver safety features available include semi-auto parking, hill start assist and tyre pressure monitoring. Other aids include blind spot monitoring, high beam assist, lane departure warning, bi-xenon headlights and reverse-view camera.
The new Opel Corsa is again offered in three- and five-door configurations.
It will make its public debut at the 2014 Paris motor show in October before production starts in late 2014.