Motormouth – Rockin’ with ADAM
Rockin’ with ADAM: Opel’s newest Supermini walks the wild side
Nothing to add
ADAM Rocks. We know that. It’s also the name of the latest addition to Opel’s range of small, well built and well equipped, personal cars.
ADAM’s primary claim to fame is that it’s almost impossible to run out of personalisation options. Interior and exterior mirror covers, roof and body colours, internal and external décor kits, wheels, sporty control pedals, logo bars, extras and decal kits translate into, Wikipedia claims, 143 000 possible combinations.
Its second is that practically everything you need – safety, convenience, connectivity and luxury kit – is included in the purchase price. We could go on about certain competitors that say: “May I option that up for you, Sir or Madame; a steering wheel, perhaps?” But we won’t.
ADAM and its crossover sister, Mokka, are spearheading Opel’s drive to reinvent itself and to bulldoze its way out of Chapter 11. The company expects to return to profitability by 2016 and is targetting Number Two European passenger brand by 2022. Between now and 2020, Opel will launch 29 new cars globally. Among these, South Africans can look forward, in the first half of 2016, to the über-hot ADAM ‘S’ and a new Astra Hatch.
While ADAM does luxury, safety, build quality and versatility very well, it does “cute” rather convincingly too. And did we mention that it’s a SA Car of the Year finalist? Winning that would be great although it already has two design awards, a pair of winner-in-category trophies and a nomination for T3 magazine’s Gadget Awards tucked away in its cubby. Even we conservative South Africans are falling under its spell. Sales since its SA launch have averaged 120 per month. That’s more than a third of all product moved in its particular category.
While the above mentioned attributes are all very well, some buyers want more; such as a roll back ragtop like the one on Fiat’s cute-as-a-kitten 500 cabriolet. And how about other must-haves; blind spot alert and self-parking? Then let’s butch it up with15 mm more ride height, anthracite-coloured cladding along the sills and around the wheel arches, six-speaker Infinity sound, alloy pedals, front and rear skid plates and 18” alloys with racy 35-profile rubber.
How about just three funky, model-specific colours; Red ‘n Roll, Saturday White Fever and Goldbusters? Then make it rare by importing only 150. It rocks. Hence the name -ADAM Rocks.
If you didn’t already know, ADAM is built on Fiat-GM’s SCCS (Small Common Components and Systems platform) shared with Corsa, Fiat’s Grande Punto and Fiorino and Alfa Romeo’s MiTo. Entry-level plain ADAM uses a 1400 cc naturally aspirated engine, but all others use the new, 999 cc, turbocharged three-cylinder powerhouse found in various GM stablemates. It’s smooth, gutsy, responsive, and has lugging power ‘way beyond what its small capacity would suggest.
Suspension consists of McPherson struts in front and a compound crank axle with torsion tube at the back. Brakes are discs at both ends with ABS, EBD and EBA. As expected, it has ESP Plus, six airbags, ISOFix, powered windows and mirrors, hill start assist, cruise control with speed limiter, on-board computer, electronic climate control, automatic headlamps and wipers, remote central locking and Intellilink connectivity.
The latter is controlled through a seven-inch touchscreen and offers Bluetooth plus USB, auxiliary and MP3 inputs. Preloaded are: TuneIn internet radio, Stitcher Radio for podcasts, BringGo navigation, an image and movie player, and SIRI Eyes Free voice control for iPhone users. Upholstery is a combination of cloth and vinyl.
Because this car is primarily intended for just one or two people, neither boot space nor rear legroom are prioritised, but cockpit accommodations are generous. It offers more shoulder room than the family-oriented Corsa.
ADAM Rocks is priced R37 400 higher than ADAM Glam, at R273 400. Our first reaction was that this could be a deal breaker, but some quick mental add-on costing changed our minds. Rocks’ appeal might be limited to buyers within a special demi-niche, or it could plunder sales from its sisters. Who knows? But it’s probably worth the premium for those wanting something different. Because it ROCKS! And there’s nothing to add.
Information gathered at a manufacturer-sponsored launch event.
Price: R273 400
Engine: 999 cc, 12-valve, three-cylinder turbocharged
Power: 85 kW between 5000 and 6000 rpm
Torque: 170 Nm between 1800 and 4500 rpm
Gearbox: Six speed manual
Zero to 100 km/h: 9.9 seconds
Maximum speed: 196 km/h
Claimed average fuel consumption: 5.0 l/100 km
Tank: 35 litres
Boot: 170 litres
Warranty: 5 years / 120 000 km
Service plan: 3 years / 60 000 km; at annual or 15 000 km intervals