Emerald Green is a new colour for the Corsa and links it to Vauxhalls Insignia flagship

Emerald Green is a new colour for the Corsa and links it to Vauxhall's Insignia flagship

The fourth generation Vauxhall Corsa will undercut the entry level Ford Fiesta, Britain's long-time best selling car, by GBP1,000 when it goes on sale at year-end.

Speaking at one of several media preview drive events being run in the UK this month, Ian Mitchell, product manager for Corsa, Adam and Viva, says pricing will start at GBP8,995.

The new car also has more standard equipment, including a heated windscreen, than the outgoing Corsa. The former Expression entry level trim will not be replaced in the new model as part of Vauxhall's ongoing attempt to shift its image away from the cheaper end of the market.

Also attending the media previews is Opel-Vauxhall's head of Dynamics for the Corsa project, Michael Harder. Underlining how much change there has been for the car despite it using an evolution of the platform from the 2006-2014 model he notes, "Other than a couple of nuts and bolts maybe, there is not one single component in the suspension that does not have a new part number, so it's all new".

"The steering has UK software calibration, and we have taken advantage of the new electrical architecture to give the Corsa more sophisticated electric steering," Harder adds.

The importance to Opel-Vauxhall of fine-tuning the UK market Corsa for local conditions was highlighted. "For us, bad [British] roads are good, as we have been able to use the often poor quality of the roads to develop more precise steering," the head of vehicle Dynamics claims.

The new Corsa is vital for Vauxhall in its attempt to overtake Ford in UK market passenger car sales, though company executives attending the press preview did not mention this previously stated goal. The current model represents some 32% of the brand's sales and last year, 84,000 units of the car were delivered to British buyers. Of these, 50% were for retail customers with the remainder going to fleets.

The Fiesta was mentioned throughout the media briefing, underlining how determined Vauxhall seems to be at wanting to take on Ford of Britain's best seller. With most private car sales now via PCPs (personal contract plans), Vauxhall was keen to point out that its new model will be positioned with a better PCP deal than the comparable Fiesta, version for version.