"We haven’t had a car in that price range for a long time, and that is very important since it is something of a magic threshold. Many customers looking for a car in that class will not even consider a particular model if it costs over 10,000 euros," an Opel spokesman said.
The Karl, which will be built in South Korea and hit German Opel showrooms in June at the earliest, should also appeal to previous Chevrolet Spark owners shopping for a new value-oriented car that otherwise would have migrated to a non-GM brand.
"Since Chevrolet doesn’t exist in Europe any more, we want to do everything to ensure they now become Opel customers" the spokesman said. GM has said it will stop selling Chevrolet cars in Europe at the end of next year to focus on Opel.
At 3680mm long, the five-door Karl will be slightly shorter than the Adam, which is 3700mm long, but it has a roomier interior and seats up to five people, one more than the Adam, which is positioned more upscale with prices starting at 11,750 euros.
To save costs the Karl will initially be offered with the 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine recently introduced into the Adam, without the turbocharger and only 75 horsepower.
It comes with features such as Opel’s infotainment system IntelliLink, which integrates Apple iOS and Android devices with the car, and is also equipped with ESP and Hill Start Assist, which prevents the car from rolling back when starting on a slope. Further options can be selected including lane departure warning, or heated front seats and steering wheel.
Opel's spokesman said the Karl is the first car to be built off a new GM vehicle architecture.