There is a great depth of meaning and significance when you can lean back after noshing a suitably spicy Durban curry to announce “…now that had some authority..”.
The same sentiment can be applied to the Opel Corsa Sport where, unlike some of its hot hatch rivals, its authority is severely understated, almost to point of blandness, so when the turbo kicks in, the punch is deliciously unexpected.
Of the hot hatch brigade the Corsa is mid bunch among the smaller cars, its 1,4-litre engine competing against the 1,6-litres of the Clio or the 1,0-litres of the VW Golf 1.0TSI and Peugeot 1.2T GT-Line – and it stands its ground quite proudly.
Speaking of power, the 1.4 turbo, driving through a six speed manual gearbox, realises 110 kW of power at 5 000 r/min and 220 Nm of torque from 3 000 r/min, getting from rest to 100 km/h in 9,6 seconds and on to a top speed of 204 km/h.
In previous interations of Opel turbo offerings over the years, there was a tendency for the power to kick in rather suddenly and create sometimes quite violent torque steer. There is none of this with the Corsa and the power feeds in progressively through the rev range, giving it a high level of tractability as a daily commuter through the traffic as well as the fun factor.
The Corsa Sport boasts a host of safety features including daytime running lights, side blind zone alert, advance park and hill start assist, anti-lock brakes and ESP. Six strategically placed air bags enhance driver and passengers safety.
For driving convenience, cruise control, Bi-Xenon lights with cornering light control and front foglamps, auto headlights and rain sensing wipers compliment the stylish, yet functional Corsa Sport.
Urban fuel consumption runs around the 7,4 l/100 km mark with open road cruising dropping down to 4,8 l/100 km and CO2 emissions at 133 g/km are a shade over the no charge limit.
Opel has optimised handling performance in the Corsa Sport, by making a few changes to the front suspension geometry. Sport suspension is standard, so the ride is slightly stiffer – however, not so stiff it makes the slow urban crawl uncomfortable.
If anything, the downside is the light steering that simply does not give enough feedback under pressure and the fact the cloth seats, albeit good quality and comfortable, really should be leather – and I do not think this extra cost would deter any buyer looking in this price bracket.
The Corsa Sport is covered by an Opel 3-year/60 000 km Service Plan and 5-year/120 000 Warranty.