JOHANNESBURG - While 2019 was a busy year for Opel, with various new derivatives launched as well as a commercial vehicle range, 2020 promises to be the year of the hatchback, with the all-new Corsa and substantially revised Astra set to hit our shores during the course of the year.
The year will also see Opel expanding its van range with the new Zafira Life as well as the Vivaro Cargo panel van, which will compete at the upper end of the respective bus and commercial van segments.
Let’s take a closer look at what Opel has up its sleeve for this year.
Opel Corsa - due second half of 2020
Opel’s sixth-generation Corsa is all-new from the ground up, shifting onto Peugeot’s compact car platform that also underpins the new 208, and as such it is lighter than its predecessor, with kerb weights starting at just 980kg.
Range-topping models also offer plenty in the way of cutting-edge tech, including Opel’s adaptive (and glare-free) IntelliLux LED Matrix headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Alert with Pedestrian Detection and a new range of infotainment systems topped by a 25cm variant called Multimedia Navi Pro.
Although the South African engine line-up will only be confirmed closer to launch, European customers have a multitude of options, including petrols, diesels and the first-ever electric variant.
The petrol models are fitted with Peugeot’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit in various states of tune. The base variant is normally aspirated and produces 55kW, while the two turbocharged units produce 74kW and 96kW respectively. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard in the latter and optional in the former.
On the diesel front, Opel offers a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit with 75kW and 250Nm, but the company will no doubt be pushing the electric version of the Corsa as its eco-friendly champion. The Corsa-e, as it’s named, has a 100kW electric motor and a 50kWh battery that offers a claimed range of 330km between charges, on the WLTP1 cycle.
Opel Astra - due second quarter
While the smaller Corsa is an all-new model, the Astra is a facelift of the existing version and although it retains its GM underpinnings (until the next generation at least), the 2020 Astra does inherit some new engines from the PSA stable.
These include the aforementioned 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol unit, which is offered in three output guises - 81kW/195Nm, 96kW/225Nm and 107kW/225Nm, in all cases mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Also on offer is a 1.4-litre turbo unit, with 107kW and 236Nm, and this bigger engine is paired with a CVT gearbox. As per the Corsa, the sole diesel option is a 1.5-litre unit, but in this case it’s offered in 77kW/260Nm and 90kW/300Nm.
The chassis has come in for some improvements too, with a Watts Link rear axle being offered in the sports variant, while the cabin has been freshened up with a digital speedometer and a redesigned infotainment system.
The local engine line-up, specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Opel Zafira Life - due third quarter
The new Opel Zafira Life is Opel’s answer to the Volkswagen Kombi, and with up to nine seats on offer, it will be aimed at family as well as business clients.
In Europe, the vehicle is offered in three sizes, namely Small (4.6 metres), Medium (4.95m) and Large (5.3m).
The importer says local models will be available with a 2-litre turbodiesel engine, with outputs not specified as yet, although European customers get to choose between two output variants: 110kW and 130kW.
The new van also boasts a range of advanced driver assistance features and infotainment systems.
Opel Vivaro Cargo panel van - due third quarter
The Zafira’s commercial relative, the Vivaro Cargo takes the fight to the mid-size panel van market, and promises more comfort and practicality than ever.
Like its aforementioned cousin, the Vivaro Cargo is powered by Opel’s third-generation turbodiesel engine.
As with the other new offerings, you can watch this space for more local information as it becomes available later in the year.