Paris 2012: Opel Adam Might Be The Company’s Saving Grace

It’s no secret that General Motors’ Opel division is struggling on the back of economic turmoil in Europe. The new Opel Adam might just be the perfect car to save Opel — cheap, practical, and fun. Though we’d already seen some photos of the Adam earlier this summer, Opel has now allowed us a better look at its new subcompact hatchback at the Paris Motor Show.
The Adam rides on a shortened version of the Opel Corsa chassis, putting it midway between the dimensions of a MINI Cooper and a Fiat 500. Available in three trim levels called Jam, Glam, and Slam, the Adam is offered in 25 different cutesy colors, and there are three choices for the roof color. The front fascia has a fun, smiley-face appearance, and the turbine-look alloy wheels are a smart touch.
Despite the fun names and colors, there’s serious equipment on the inside: an iPhone interface, a self-parking system, a blind-spot monitor, a heated steering wheel, and even a special “City” button that makes the steering lighter for tight parking maneuvers.
The three launch engines comprise a 1.2-liter with 70 hp, a 1.4-liter with 84 hp, and a 1.4-liter with 100 hp. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and the optional EcoFLEX package adds an engine stop/start system. We’re told Opel will eventually add a turbocharged, direct-injection engine; a six-speed manual; and possibly even a dual-clutch transmission.
Pricing starts at just €11,500 in Germany, equivalent to $14,900 and well-suited to recession-wracked European car markets. No, the Adam won’t save Opel all on its own, but it’s clearly an important car for the European company. The Opel Adam goes on sale in January 2013, and, sadly, isn’t currently slated to make it to our shores.
Click here for more coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor Show from Automobile Magazine.