40 years of Corsa and suddenly it’s quiet
At the start of 1982, everything went holterdiepolter. On August 30th, the first car rolls off the assembly line in Zaragoza, Spain. A few weeks later, the jurors at the “Golden Steering Wheel” take a critical look at it and are certain after the first laps: the winners are the little ones!
After all these years, cars are like real life: they pinch! So you peel through the door onto the back seat of the first Corsa, bend – ouch! – out again. Then you look at the new Corsa, which is 4.06 meters longer and 44 cm longer. And you say: You’ve gotten pretty fat, including the car.
In the past, 70 hp was enough for a small athlete. Our photo truck is a GT with 1.3 four-cylinder, five-speed gearbox, three-spoke steering wheel and rev counter next to a speedometer that goes up to 200 km/h, but whose needle only reaches 170 when everything is running.
Vintage Corsa pleases with simplicity
We don’t want to complain, the Corsa had a meager 45 hp starting at DM 13,695, but we still complain: If you had the original cassette radio in our test car “SC 202” for 503 Ordered a DM surcharge and didn’t install the simple “Le Mans Stereo” from the E-Kadett afterwards, we could listen to the cassette. The matching storage box for 47 DM in the center console would store five mixtapes without rattling.
Front wheel/input transmission
from 33,895 euros, special model only with a subscription for 450 euros/month
51 kW (70 hp) at 5800 rpm
Front wheel/ five-speed gearbox
In general, with such an oldie, one is happy about the simplicity of life. The window regulators? Manual, works even when the battery dies. That GPS? Either Atlas or ask. You could approach a fine lady and when she looked at the seats she would beam and say, “The plaid looks like it’s from Burberry!”
Of course, the Opels would much rather hear something like that than the comparison with the tartan covers from the GTI, because the special model is also a bit Burberry again. For the big birthday, they built the limited special series in 1982, as a combustion engine and as an electric vehicle.
Drive into the future with the Corsa-e
Our Corsa-e has a small “216” next to a big “40” on the dashboard, is birthday kid 216 from 1982. If you buy one, you even get the matching socks. Something like that already existed in 1988, when Opel put an umbrella and backpack in the Countess’s colorful tennis shirt design in the trunk of the Corsa special model with a folding roof called “Steffi Special”.
But we don’t want to look into the luggage compartment of the past here, we want to drive into the future. And have to state: 40 years and suddenly quiet!
Yes, the Corsa is successful, the best-selling small car in Germany. But also the best-selling little one among electricians, 25 percent of all Corsa refuel at the socket.
Just like our test car, which incidentally, like all special models, shines in the original color of the Corsa A (“Rekord Red”). Our yellow oldie, which has just started as if on command, smells of super and oil, the perfume of our youth.
Corsa-e has gained a lot of weight
The new one is more like a spaceship Orion, push button, beep, ready. Set the knobbly gear selector to D, press the button for maximum recuperation, ready. Because of the 50 kWh batteries in the floor of the vehicle, our chubby one weighs more than 1.5 tons, twice as much as grandpa.
But it comes out of the quark faster. Of course, we don’t try 8.7 seconds at 100 km/h against 12.5 in the oldie in the city, but a stormy 260 Nm of torque compared to the stubborn 101 in the old Corsa feels like moped against moped.
We can accuse such an electric Corsa of some things, for example that its 353 km WLTP range on the motorway tends to melt down to a more realistic 270, and because you don’t want to drive empty, you have to drink coffee for half an hour every 230 km until the battery is at 80 percent.
But here in the city, here it’s always stop-and-go, here we love the Corsa for its technology. As he scurries through the traffic, with a low center of gravity. How could we ever say a word of praise for the dynamics of a 70hp 1.3 nitro with no power steering?
Well, afterwards you are always smarter, afterwards we also know why the Opels also built the first Corsa with a notchback. Not because they thought the “TR” was beautiful, but because Southerners loved driving limos, even if they were only 3.96 m was short.
The question of the most important Corsa remains. And the answer: Number 1. They built it for eleven years, until 1993. The same car for eleven years, 3,105,430 units! There won’t be quite as much of the current sixth generation.
But if you want one of the 1982 special models: you can’t buy all of them ready-made, only as a subscription from 370 euros a month for the combustion engine (as an E approx. 450 euros). Could go holterdiepolter now, like in 1982.