Johannesburg - Opel is about to enter its second year as an independent entity under the Williams Hunt banner, and there are some enticing new products in the pipeline, including the Corsa GSI and 120Y edition, new Astra, Grandland X and Crossland X derivatives and two new commercial vehicles in the form of the Combo and Vivaro.
But let’s kick things off with the one that really excites us.
Opel Corsa GSI
The Corsa GSI is due to hit South African streets in April 2019, and it’s what you might call a ‘warm’ hatch of sorts, powered by a 110kW, 220Nm 1.4-litre turbopetrol engine that, according to claims, gets it from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds.
Power goes to the front wheels through a short-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and dynamics are also perked up by an OPC tuned chassis.
The GSI, which is sold only as a three-door, is also set apart by an OPC-like styling kit that includes a redesigned front bumper with a honeycomb grille, carbon-look wing mirror trim, side skirts and a large rear spoiler.
Recaro bucket seats and a sports steering wheel set the mood inside.
Opel Astra spec enhancements
The other warm-to-hot hatchback in Opel’s line-up, the Astra 1.6T Sport, will be perked up with OPC-Line exterior and interior styling packs in March 2019, and it will also become available with an automatic gearbox (currently the 1.6T is only sold as a manual).
Two other Astra models will receive spec enhancements around the same time, with the 1.0T base version gaining the Intellilink system and the 1.4T Enjoy receiving additional features in the form of dual-zone climate control, reverse camera, blind spot detection and Advanced Park Assist.
Opel Grandland X to get more features too
The Opel Grandland X 1.6T Enjoy automatic will receive an equipment update in March, the model gaining new 18-inch alloy wheels (replacing the current 17” units) as well as front fog lights, roof rails and rear privacy glass.
The same model will now also be available with a ‘Plus’ package that adds leather seats, a panoramic sunroof and SatNav 900 IntelliLink infotainment system.
Crossland gains diesel engine
The Crossland X SUV range is set to be expanded in April with the introduction of a super-frugal turbodiesel derivative.
The 1.6-litre engine produces 68kW and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Pricing and specs will be announced at launch.
Opel Corsa 120Y Special Edition
Those of a certain age will have Datsun flashbacks at the mention of ‘120Y’ but it actually stands for 120 years - which is how old Opel will be next year. To celebrate this milestone, Opel South Africa will be offering a special edition Corsa ‘120Y’ that’s based on the 1.0T Enjoy, but gaining various extra styling and comfort equipment, including a reverse camera and front/rear park assist.
Combo to take on Caddy
Due to reach SA in May, but available to pre-order from January, the all-new Opel Combo panel van is set to rival the Volkswagen Caddy.
Local models will be powered by a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, and standard spec will include air conditioning, a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and dual front airbags.
Sold in short-wheelbase configuration only, the Combo will offer a payload of 600kg.
For those seeking a bigger van, Opel is planning to bring the Vivaro to South Africa in November 2019.
Details are thin on the ground at present as it is expected to be an all-new, Peugeot-based model (the one you see in the picture above is the current Vivaro, which incidentally is quite closely related to Renault and Nissan’s mid-sized vans).