first contact with the electric city car


Opel invited Automotive Clean in Paris for a static presentation of its first 100% electric car sold in France, the new Corsa-e 2020.

A narrow Parisian street, a multi-storey car park facing a construction site, the atmosphere is special. At the entrance, a Corsa of 1982 gives us a clue, we are at the right place. At the top, Opel France finds us with old Corsa GSi or Rally, and of course its little Corsa-e.

Finally small. For 37 years and 13.6 million copies, the city has grown well, with today 4.06 meters long. A sixth generation, also called "Corsa F" internally, whose stakes are important since the Corsa remains the car most broadcast by the brand. Still in 2018, it was in the Top 10 in Europe with 217,036 units, a quarter of Opel's sales. A figure that the manufacturer wants to see progress. In France, the Blitz wants to go fifth according to AutoActu, even exceeding Dacia.

And it will also pass through the electric. An engine that is not only trendy, but mandatory to pass under 95 g / km of CO2 in 2021, under penalty of heavy financial penalties.

A project realized at high speed V

For his offensive, Opel did it in haste. Redeemed by PSA in 2017, the brand has launched the Corsa F project of the GM era, then already in the final phase, to build it on a French platform. No surprise therefore if the silhouette of the two copies present reminds us of the Peugeot 208 having served as a museum.

But the design is distinct, made under the thumb of Martin Schaufler. Moreover, it is not specific on the Corsa-e. "We asked customers if they wanted an electric version that was electric", says the designer, "But they told us they did not want a different style". We note, however, small "e" badges on the center or rear pillar, as well as specific rims.

Designer Martin Schaufler explains the design of the Opel Corsa-e

The German welcomes his baby, whose first sketches were made in February 2017, a very fast pace. He prefers novelty largely to the old project, especially by its more stocky proportions. Indeed, the Corsa loses 5 cm in height, 1.43 m in total, while gaining 3 cm of wheelbase. The trunk also progresses in capacity, with 309 liters (+24), and is not truncated on the electric version.

The batteries are indeed housed in the floor, like the Peugeot e-208. The Teutonne takes over the 50 kWh lithium-ion pack and the 136 hp (100 kW) motor, whose autonomy is almost identical: 330 km in the WLTP cycle.

Opel Corsa-e serious but techno

Inside, Opel has tried to charm us with digital meters and the 10-inch big screen. The first will only be available on the launch edition while the second will be optional. Nevertheless the atmosphere, certainly a bit monotonous, will delight those not fans of the eccentricity of the cousin Lion. No 3D display, foamed surfaces, or small steering wheel … the Corsa-e is wise.

This will not prevent it from being very modern, with standard equipment including cruise control, automatic climate control, de-icing electric mirrors and a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. We took a picture of the latter, present on the other specimen presented, for comparison.

The manufacturer from Germany also wanted to highlight a first for the city car segment. The Corsa-e offers, as an option, headlights with matrix diodes. Thus, although with two pairs of 4 diodes (against 8 for the Astra or 16 for the Insignia), they will be managed automatically, without dazzling cars crossed. "The shadow cone will be present" reassures Grégoire Vitry, Director Opel France, "Obviously, the smoothness will not be the same as on the higher models. But we wanted to democratize this technology with an affordable price, this is one of Opel's stakes " He continues.

No trial yet Corsa-e, but soon rivals

Question conduct, whether night or day, it will take to judge the Corsa-e. Early 2020 at best. During this test, it will be particularly interesting to test if the 500 kg higher than the thermal version – 1.530 kg – do not penalize the dynamism of this electric declination.

The CCS Combo plug will recover 80% in less than 30 minutes

A test that will also be an opportunity to test the refill – promised up to 100 kW – and take stock of the qualities and defects of the city faced with its main rivals:

• Peugeot e-208: same system, from € 32,100.
• Renault ZOE "II": 136 hp, 52 kWh batteries, 390 km autonomy WLTP, about 33,000 €
• Honda e: 150 hp, 35.5 kWh batteries, 200 km of WLTP autonomy, estimated price under € 30,000
• Volkswagen ID.3 Standard Range: 136 hp, 45 kWh batteries, 330 km range, basic price under € 30,000

Already available for pre-order

Like Peugeot or Honda, Opel tests its customers with pre-bookings open since July 5, 2019. At this stage, only Edition and First Edition finishes are available. The orders will follow in September with the introduction of the entry-level model under the Selection finish:

• Opel Corsa-e Selection: 29.900 €
• Opel Corsa-e Edition: € 30,650 or € 189 / month
• Opel Corsa-e First Edition: € 33,250 or € 219 / month

The first copies of the German city car will be delivered from February 2020. The vehicles will leave the factory in Zaragoza, Spain, where the future electric declination of Mokka, Mokka-e, should be installed.


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