more autonomy as a birthday present

Opel Corsa-e

Opel Corsa-e

Forty years is something to celebrate. And that’s good for the Opel Corsa-e, which benefits from the recent developments of the Peugeot e-208, inaugurated with the limited series 40.

At the 1982 Geneva Motor Show, Opel unveiled an astonishing concept on its stand: the Opel Corsa Spider. Sketched by designer Hideo Kodama and widely featured in a Auto Option at the time, the Spider foreshadowed the next city car, which everyone would have the pleasure of discovering in September of the same year. 40 years ago, the Opel Corsa was born, and it inaugurated a story with more than 14.5 million units produced until today.

Nearly 20 km more autonomy

From now on, it is the Opel Corsa-e which is responsible for perpetuating this success story within the range of the manufacturer, passed under the bosom of PSA then Stellantis for some time now. For the occasion, the city car is available in a new 40 series, limited to 1,982 copies. In terms of cosmetics, no big changes for this newcomer, which takes up the silhouette of the current Corsa. It differs, however, by a specific presentation with a Rekord Red color, in reference to the presentation livery of its illustrious ancestor, while the roof, the grille, the trunk badge and the rims are black. This is the one and only configuration possible with this version.


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But beyond all these little cosmetic touches, this newcomer brings new technical improvements aimed at increasing its autonomy. And it is more exactly about the novelties already launched on the Peugeot e-208, its French cousin that we were able to discover through our recent Supertest. In detail, the Opel Corsa-e is equipped with a new humidity sensor for more efficient control of the air conditioning, a heat pump, a revised reduction gear ratio and eco tires. category A+.

All these technical alterations allow it to gain in efficiency and increase the autonomy to a value of 359 km according to the WLTP standard. This corresponds to an increase of 22 km compared to the previous version, or a gain of 6.53%. In this over-equipped version, and in particular with 17-inch rims fitted with Michelin Primacy 4, the value drops to 353 km.

Barely improved versatility

Under these conditions, it is difficult to take full measure of the gains in the real world. Especially since the test of this Opel Corsa-e took place on the boring roads of Germany around the stronghold of Rüsselsheim. At the end of a short loop where we tried to mix the terrain as well as possible, the city car presented an average consumption of 14.3 kWh/100 km. This corresponds, taking into account its battery of 46 kWh of useful capacity, to an average autonomy of 322 km. Nothing new in the tropics, the value being in the waters of that which we noted with the Peugeot e-208 of the new vintage, with which the comparison is inevitable.

In any event, consumption should therefore be much more measured than before, especially on expressways and motorways. Again, the consumption of 22 kWh / 100 km displayed during a very quick foray on the motorway is very close to our measurements with the French city car. Conditional rigor, even if it is not necessary to have diviner skills, the retouched Corsa-e could aim for nearly 210 km of autonomy on the motorway. It can venture there, but precautions must be taken before launching.

If we were unable to carry out a load test during this test, there is no reason for its performance in this area to be different from the Peugeot e-208. Especially since the technical sheet is perfectly similar here with a maximum power of 100 kW on the fast terminals. According to the brochure, it can fill up in 30 minutes to recover 80% of the charge, which is a little less in reality as we recorded with the Peugeot from 10 to 80%. On the other hand, it benefits from the usually optional on-board 11 kW charger which allows it to refuel in 5:15 with the appropriate power. Still, despite its high-end character, it only comes with the Mode 2 3.7 kW EF/T2 cable. To take advantage of full AC power, you will have to open the accessories catalog and pick up the three-phase cable at €279.

A still austere cabin

Based on the GS Line version, this Corsa 40 also uses the Sport chassis. Nothing that does not transform its road behavior, but it allows it to retain a semblance of dynamism. The e-208 retains the advantage in this area, but the German does not give way to its mistress. Lively and relatively efficient, it knows how to print a little more playful rhythms when the ground clears. In town or in suburban use, we appreciate more its low-speed times to fit into traffic. But we will remember that these are no longer as interesting in the last quarter of the battery, while the consistency of the brake pedal is still confusing.

In short, the partition could be very similar to that of the 208 if it did not choose to equip itself with a large and ungraceful steering wheel. This is also one of the real differences between the two city cars, the Corsa-e preferring to translate the Germanic rigor with an austere presentation. The finish is correct, but the materials used or the integration of other elements, like the summary digital instrument cluster at the bottom of its housing, are hardly flattering. But to brighten up this universe, the Corsa-e 40 is dressed in fabric upholstery with a deliciously tartan pattern. eightiesand is struck by a plate numbered from 0001 to 1982. This will undoubtedly reinforce the exclusivity of the copies, the specific numberings no longer being really in the practices of the manufacturers so as not to make anyone jealous.

An exclusively online sale

The Opel Corsa-e follows the trajectory of its two siblings based on the PSA-designed e-CMP platform. With its new technical developments, it displays more measured consumption and a more decent autonomy. Its battery is still too small to consider highway trips with peace of mind, but it fears exercise far less. The whole range can benefit from it, but none of the trim levels is as complete as this limited series.

Here, the city car is full of equipment, so that there is no option to check on its online configurator, where it is exclusively offered for sale. Displayed at a price of €37,600, this version, limited to 120 copies only in France in the electric version, benefits from a special Opel Store price and drops to €35,100. A good deal ? It’s almost as much as a Peugeot e-208 Allure Pack, which does not have all the stylistic touches, nor the 11 kW on-board charger. And she doesn’t have the two pairs of socks offered, as Opel likes to point out, which take up the patterns of the seats, to be the most ready for charging stations.

  • Full equipment
  • Improved efficiency
  • Price advantage

  • Austere cabin
  • First-rate materials
  • 120 copies only

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