Vauxhall released its first official pictures of the new ADAM, ushering in its new MINI-sector challenger. The new three-door, which majors on style, will be officially unveiled at this year’s Paris Motor Show, before going on sale early in 2013.
Designed by ex-pat Mark Adams’ team in Europe, ADAM incorporates a MINI/Range-Rover Evoque-like floating roof which makes good use of two-tone colour schemes. The new car retains design signatures from other Vauxhalls: side-feature line around the door handle (GTC), the wing-shaped chrome grille bar (new Astra) and the blade shape in the lower doors. It will also be the first car in the A-segment to have the option of LED daytime running lights.
But unlike the MINI and Fiat 500, ADAM’s designers claim it bucks the trend for retro-based design with a ‘fresh and bold look that is distinctive and striking’. We say it’s derivative, but stylish none the less. Like its established rivals, there’s a high degree of personalisation options. Available in three trims from launch – JAM, GLAM and SLAM – ADAM customers can effectively ‘build’ their own car.
Mark Adams, Vauxhall/Opel’s Vice President of Design, summed up what makes ADAM unique: ‘No other car in this segment can be individualised as much as ADAM because we are offering virtually unlimited exterior/interior colour, fabric and kit combination choices. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find two identical ADAMs out there.’
The ADAM will be offered with a choice of three ecoFLEX four-cylinder petrol engines from launch: a 1.2-litre 70bhp, plus two 1.4-litre engines with either 87bhp or 100bhp. All will be available with optional Start/Stop technology and five-speed gearboxes (one down on the MINI). Later, ADAM will adopt the new-generation small petrol engine, featuring direct injection and forced induction, and an all-new six-speed gearbox.
Front suspension is by MacPherson strut, with a compound crank system at the rear. Wheel sizes range from 16in to 18in and cars that are specified with 17in or 18in rims come as standard with the lowered sports chassis. Handling on urban roads is enhanced by a CITY mode, which increases the electronic power steering system’s assistance at lower speeds.
ADAM will go on sale in January 2013 and it will be interesting to see where the company goes with the pricing – and whether it will go head-to-head with the premium A-segment MINI (which is due for replacement in 2013) or the Ford KA/Fiat 500. However, if it’s to gain a foothold in this competitive sector (let’s not also forget the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3), the ADAM will have to offer a significant USP – beyond its excellent warranty and dealer support.
Let battle commence…