Opel's new Corsa GSi has officially gone on sale in Germany. And while South Africans have enjoyed and loved the GSi in a variety of guises for many years, in Europe, this is only the second model after the Insignia to wear the fabled GSi badge.
The Corsa GSi is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged motor that produces 110kw and 220nm - the exact same outputs as the South African-spec Corsa Sport 1.4T 5-door. Thanks to a short-ratio, six-speed manual gearbox, it runs from 0-100kph in 8.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 207kph. What’s more impressive it is in-gear tractability, needing just 9.9 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120kph in fifth gear.
The ‘warm hatch’ utilizes an OPC chassis that has been fine-tuned and set up on the Nürburgring. Agile handling and short braking distances are guaranteed, especially when combined with the optional 18-inch light alloy wheels with grippy 215/40 ZR18 sports tyres.
The GSi stands out thanks to its OPC-like exterior design, which features larger air intakes, a sculptured bonnet and modeled side sills. Opel says that the roof-mounted wing “creates additional downforce”, while the sporty chrome tailpipes contribute to its unique stance. The sporty interior gets a sports steering wheel, leather gearshift knob and aluminium pedals, which are complemented by the optional Recaro performance seats.
The Corsa GSi is a fitting send-off to the current range which will be discontinued when an all-new Corsa launches next year. Interestingly, in Germany, the GSi actually undercuts the Suzuki Swift Sport, and is priced at €19,960 (ZAR 328 200). And while the 3-dr GSi is unlikely to come to South Africa, Opel SA does have a sporty alternative on offer – in the form of the 5-door Corsa Sport 1.4T, priced at ZAR 289 316.
It remains the sportiest Corsa sold in SA since the previous-generation Corsa OPC, and features a sporty bodykit, sport suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 5-door Corsa Sport also boasts a host of safety features including 6 airbags, DRLs, side blind zone alert, advance park and hill start assist 2, ABS and ESP. Also on offer is Opel’s highly rated 7" touchscreen Intellilink system with BT and USB availability. The Corsa Sport is covered by an Opel 3 year/60 000km service plan and 5 year/120 000km warranty.