Tuesday 21 November 2017

Meet Adam, Opel's funky new addition

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

OPEL has gone a bit mad. It is all in the name of selling cars and projecting a different sort of image. No harm.

It has just introduced this new small sporty car called the Adam. Yes, simply that: Adam. It is designed to be a fun little thing with myriad combinations of colours, equipment, wheels, roofs mixes, with two fine seats for driver and front passenger and two small, small rear ones for children.

It is meant to gladden your heart a bit, if you have upwards of €14,995. But here's the mad bit. There are three versions/ spec levels and they have called them Jam, Glam (for women) and Slam (for men). I kid you not. They should certainly get attention. The Jam costs €14,995 with the other two costing €16,995.

I didn't think there would be that much of a market but apparently all this doom and gloom is overstated.

Opel reckons on selling 400/500 in a full year, but probably 200 or so this year. And it is not, to use modernist vernacular, age-specific. It can be as brightly coloured as a parrot's tail or as sedate as a muted grey to suit those aged 20 or 90.

Obviously Opel sees young couples/singles as prime targets but also more mature people trading down in size.

There is thankfully just the one engine, a 1.4-litre 100bhp (119g/km) petrol, that was nicely peppy and quiet in a drive down through soaked Wicklow, in contrast with the Adam's sunny disposition.

It is not one of those performance small cars and it doesn't try to be anything more than clever and varied. For example, you can have the interior roof looking like a well-lit starry sky or a lovely sunny day.

And it has some slick infotainment techhie connectivity stuff that will form the basis of all Opels in the near future. Some of this stuff is fascinating.

The IntelliLink system integrates functions of iPhone and Android-based smartphones, USB, Bluetooth and AUX-in connectivity. There are special apps such as BringGo navigation and Siri Eyes Free (from next month).

I liked it for its simple use – that can all be quite confusing in some cars.

Suspension

The suspension is nicely tuned (it is based on the under-rated Corsa platform) and Adam is slightly shorter and wider (you notice that) than its sibling. The competition is stiff: the MINI, Fiat 500, Ford Ka, Citroen DS3. But I think the entry price is good.

Standard equipment includes 17ins alloys, air con, CD/DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, six airbags, ESP, daytime running lights, audio controls on steering wheel.

Glam (I never thought I'd use that word to describe a spec level on a car) adds panoramic sunroof, chrome detail and Slam (ditto) gets sportier suspension settings, two-tone roof and darkened glass.

This is an interesting little car that lifts the gloom – for now at least.

Irish Independent

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