Opels official photo shows new Generation Corsa prototypes on test in Germany

Opel's official photo shows new Generation Corsa prototypes 'on test' in Germany

General Motors Europe's Opel has released photos of prototypes of the next generation Corsa which will be introduced "this year", likely at the Paris motor show in October.

In a statement, Opel said the Corsa 'E' will have GME's new one-litre EcoTec petrol engine with new six-speed manual transmission, a "newly developed chassis and superbly tuned steering".

According to just-auto's Production Life Database, the new Corsa will not, as had previoulsy been assumed, use GM's Gamma 2 architecture. Instead, it has been developed using an evolution of the outgoing model's Fiat-Opel architecture. An Opel-Vauxhall spokesman told just-auto in June 2014 that "the base architecture (basically the passenger space) is that of the current car but everything forward of the windscreen is new including powertrain and suspension hardware; the interior is fundamentally different and all new, as are rear suspension and all dynamic settings plus every body panel".

European Opel-brand sales are expected to start in November/December with right hand driver cars for the UK (badged Vauxhall) and Ireland (Opel) due to follow in either December or January. RHD Opels are also sold in smaller markets such as Malta and Cyprus. It is also possible upmarket versions will be sold in Australia with Holden branding, following the withdrawal of short-lived Opel there.

In November 2009, then Opel-Vauxhall chief Nick Reilly said he saw Corsa production being based at GME's Eisenach in "the long term". Current Corsa five-door build is at the Figueruelas (Zaragoza) plant in northern Spain while three-door cars are made at Eisenach. Zaragoza is Opel's biggest factory.

Union leaders at the plant told the local media in January 2010 that Figueruelas would be operating at full capacity until 2016 due to new models coming on stream.

In December 2012, GM and PSA revised the terms of their shared product alliance, stating that new B-segment models would be developed. The first of these had been due in 2016, but any PSA-GM shared B segment architecture would have come too late for the redesigned 2015 Corsa.

In October 2013, PSA stated that the 'B-common' architecture was 'under review' so the so-called 'MDB1' model Corsa (on a PSA-GM platform and pencilled in for a launch in 2020) would appear to have been cancelled.

Therefore, this, the fifth generation Corsa, is likely to have a relatively short production life. GM is believed to be planning to launch the sixth generation model in 2019 on its forthcoming G2XX platform.