As Vauxhall launches the latest version of what is arguably their most important model to date, we’re looking back to where it all began for the supermini in the 80s. The first Corsa wasn’t a Corsa, it was the Nova. It was launched as Vauxhalls first-ever supermini offering way back in 1982 and it was on sale for 11 years. In that time it highlighted the great potential for the supermini class and in 1993, Vauxhall took that baton and ran with it.
The Corsa B
The Corsa B was on sale from 1993 to 2000 and it was designed to appeal to a wider audience than the Nova it replaced. The Corsa B was a smoothed-off and bubbly in its design, with big round headlamps giving it a soft and characterful appearance. The model was greater in length and width than the Nova it replaced which naturally made it more practical. This is also when Vauxhall introduced anti-locking brakes, front airbags and side-impact protective. The famous ‘GSi’ derivative was added to the lineup which went down a storm with hot-hatch fans.
The Corsa C
Following the Corsa B came the Corsa C, as you would expect. This model was on sale for 6 years up until 2006 and although the design wasn’t radically changed, the Corsa C was longer and wider than the model it replaced which once again greatly improved the interior space. The entirety of the body was fully galvanised to prevent rusting which had plagued most cars built before the turn of the Millenium. Vauxhall introduced a tricky 4-cylinder Ecotec petrol engine and direct-injection turbo-diesel option to make sure there was plenty of power on offer while keeping fuel consumption low and meeting Euro 4 emission standards.
The Corsa D
Next came the Corsa D and Vauxhall took a slightly different approach by styling the 3-door and 5-door models differently. The 3-door was considerably more aggressive and coupe-like in its appearance, with a few styling cues derived from the sporty Noca from the ’80s. Meanwhile, the 5-door came with a more family-orientated attitude and a considerably more spacious rear row of seats. This is the point where Vauxhall introduced their EcoFLEX technology and fuel-saving features such as Start/Stop functionality.
The most recent model of the Corsa is the 'e', which has had the shortest life cycle of all Corsa’s to date in the UK. Upon introduction, this was the market leader in terms of technology as Vauxhall ploughed in heated seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, parking sensors, traffic sign recognition and a lane-keeping assistant. This was all technology typically reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles. Also on offer is a range of 209 miles on a single charge making it a key selling point for Vauxhall. The Corsa-e was also one of the first superminis to be given Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Truly one of the best in its class. The SE NAV electric starts from £30,665.
The all-new Corsa
Now, times have changed. The all-new Corsa will go on sale with the availability of an all-electric model for the first time alongside the petrol and diesel options. Forward collision alert, emergency braking and adaptive speed control can all be added too. The Corsa will have a lower centre of gravity to improve the driving dynamics and it will be particularly lightweight too. The roofline is lowered by 48mm compared to the model it replaces, but the headroom has increased. The new Corsa is on sale now from £15,550.