New variant adds mid-tier performance option to light hatch family.

Vauxhall has released the new Corsa GSi in the UK, serving as a new entry-level performance option – 25 years after the original GSi went on sale.

Sitting between the core range and the flagship VXR hot hatch, the GSi is powered by a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine making 150PS (110kW) and 220Nm – the latter on tap between 2750 and 4500rpm – sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

Vauxhall claims the Corsa GSi can accelerate from 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in 8.4 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 129mph (207km/h).

Distinguishing exterior features include a honeycomb grille insert, bodykit, carbon-look accents, a larger rear spoiler, chrome tailpipe finisher, and red-painted brake calipers behind the 17-inch bi-colour diamond-cut alloy wheels.

Inside, there's sport front seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, and Opel/Vauxhall's IntelliLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

Those wanting a more aggressive look and feel can opt for the GSi Plus package priced at £1900 ($3419), which adds 18-inch diamond-cut alloys shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, Recaro leather sports seats, and bi-xenon headlights with cornering light function.

Under the skin, the Corsa GSi picks up the sportier chassis tune of the 152kW VXR in addition to the flagship model's Koni Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) system – which features a valve controlling a parallel flow of oil next to the damper piston.

Vauxhall says the system allows the secondary flow of oil to be closed off, giving a "rise in damper force when the conditions demand it".

"Put simply, FSD is a hydraulic amplifier which can delay the build-up of pressure if required, achieving the best possible combination of handling and comfort, without the complexity and expense of a regular adaptive damper," the company says in the press materials.

The Vauxhall Corsa GSi hits UK showrooms this month, priced from £18,995 ($34,181) on the road. Key rivals include the Suzuki Swift Sport and Ford Fiesta ST – though it's worth noting the competitors Vauxhall has pointed out are noticeably quicker to 60mph based on manufacturer's claims.

Now the Corsa GSi is now available to order, Opel and Vauxhall's GSi-badged range now stands at two offerings – the other being the Insignia GSi which features a 195kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine mated to an eight-speed auto.

Australia

While the Insignia is offered locally as the Holden Commodore, albeit not in GSi trim, don't expect to see the Corsa in local showrooms anytime soon given Opel and Vauxhall's recent acquisition by France's PSA Group (parent of Citroen and Peugeot), and the fact the Corsa's equivalent, the Holden Barina, was recently dropped from the Australian line-up.

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