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Ever since Opel parted ways with General Motors, the Rüsselsheim-based automaker has been promising some big things.

And while Opel South Africa has been expanding their local footprint, they have just confirmed that they will be bringing the famed GSi badge back to South Africa…finally!

Set to launch in 2019, is the Opel Corsa GSi. While this car has been making headlines since it was unveiled in Europe earlier this year, Opel fans can finally smile that they will have a genuine ‘warm-hatch’ to compete against rivals from Volkswagen, Peugeot and Renault. 

The Corsa GSi will be 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, 6-speed manual gearbox, it will run from 0-100kph in 8.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 207kph.

Its OPC chassis and disc brakes with red calipers have been set up on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife by Opel's Director Performance Cars and Motorsport, Volker Strycek. As a result, agile handling and short braking distances are guaranteed, especially when combined with the optional 18-inch light alloy wheels with 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 modelled 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 is a familiar place, but gains a sports steering wheel, leather gearshift knob and aluminium pedals, which are complemented by the optional Recaro performance seats. Sadly, South Africa didn't get the spicy OPC version of the Corsa E, but this would be a fitting tribute to the Corsa, which gets replaced by the Corsa F (which rides on a PSA platform) late next year. 

Opel has yet to release pricing for the three-door Corsa GSì, but expect it to be pricier than the five-door Corsa Sport 1.4T which is currently priced at R297 995. It’s also likely to retain the 3-year/60 000km service plan and 5-year/120 000 warranty as its Corsa siblings. 

Opel South Africa have also confirmed that they will be launching diesel versions of the Crossland X and Grandland X, and the Opel Combo Van locally in 2019.

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