Opel, the European division of General Motors, has shown off partially camouflaged pictures of its new car. Called the Adam, the new Opel will be one the brand's smallest cars -- and an important one as Opel battles continuing losses in Europe.
So far Opel has confirmed that the Adam will have three doors, seating for four, and will measure 145.7 inches long. That makes the Adam almost exactly as long as a Mini Cooper hatchback, and only 6.1 inches longer than a Fiat 500. Those cars – along with Volkswagen's new Up! – are undoubtedly the targets for the Adam; Opel claims the model will be highly customizable, just like the 500 and Mini.The Adam was fully designed and engineered in Germany. It also will be sold in the U.K. as the Vauxhall Adam. Powertrain details are still fleeting, but most reports indicate the Adam will make use of small three- and four-cylinder engines, the largest displacing no more than 1.6 liters.
We will be especially interested to see how the Opel Adam stacks up against the 2013 Chevrolet Spark hatchback. The four-passenger Spark is 144.7 inches long, just one inch shorter than the Adam. The Spark was originally designed for General Motors' South Korean division Daewoo, but will be sold in America starting this summer. The 2013 Spark made its production debut at the Los Angeles auto show last fall. Pricing starts at $12,995.
Selling a successful new car is incredibly important for Opel; the European brand has been a thorn in GM's financial results for some time. Despite some profitable quarters, the Opel brand overall has lost more than $14.7 billion since 1999. In the first quarter of 2012, General Motors Europe reported a loss of $0.3 billion. Reports indicate GM may consider closing some plants and cutting jobs in Europe to help reduce operating costs. If the Adam is a strong seller, it could help bolster Opel's profits and appease GM's American shareholders.
The Opel Adam will make its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.