Opel claims the new Corsa Eco is Europe's most economical gasoline-engine supermini.
With a fuel consumption of 4.9 liters per 100km, the Corsa Eco is 'the most efficient gasoline car in its class,' said Hans Demant, Opel board member for research and development.
Opel tuned the Corsa Eco to make it cheap to run. With a CO2 rating of 118 grams per kilometer, the new model is also environmentally friendly. The European Commission wants carmakers to cut average CO2 emissions from new cars to 140 grams per kilometer by 2008.
The Corsa Eco is the second offering in the Opel/Vauxhall Eco program, which began in 2000 with the introduction of the Astra Eco.
The Corsa Eco has smaller tires than other Corsa models to offer reduced rolling resistance.
An aerodynamic undertray improves airflow underneath, and the size of the cooling air ducts has been reduced so that less air flows through the engine compartment. Opel's efforts reduced the coefficient of drag to 0.30 from 0.32 on standard Corsas.
The Easytronic automated-shift gearbox has been programmed to offer wider ratio gaps so that the engine runs in the speed range that offers the most favorable fuel consumption under normal driving conditions.
Because the Eco is being sold for the same price as an entry-level Corsa, the profit per car is lower. But Demant said: 'It is Opel's strategy to make environmentally friendly cars with excellent everyday functionality available at affordable prices.'
Opel Corsa Eco
Launch: On sale now
Platform: General Motors' S small-car platform
Price: E11,250 (three-door), E11,850 (five-door)
Competitors: Entry versions of Peugeot 206, Fiat Punto, Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Citroen Saxo, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia
Engine: 1.0-liter, three-cylinder Ecotec gasoline
Dimensions: Wheelbase: 2450mm, length 3765mm, width 1650mm, height 1460mm
Standard equipment: Easytronic automated-shift gearbox, power steering, immobilizer, driver airbag, electric front windows