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Opel Adam a tough sell for Australia

It's being hatched in Europe to a busy baby-car market but it's too early to tell if Opel's new car will develop enough to make it here.

The Opel Adam - a twist on the company originator's name, Adam Opel - is the first new nameplate from Opel since the Insignia of 2008. Opel Australia says the Adam - a three-door car the length of aHyundai Getz - isn't confirmed for sale in Australia. But the company says "it's something we will watch''.

"The complexity and number of options on this little car makes it a tough sell for Australia, with long delivery times and so on,'' says Opel Australia marketing boss Michelle Lang. "It is a great product though and if there is any way we can see an appetite for it here, I'll be pushing for it.'' The car was this week unveiled in the UK and shows that Opel sister company Vauxhall has adopted a fun attitude to marketing Adam.

It hits the UK in three trim levels - Jam (for fashionable and colourful), Glam (elegant and sophisticated) and Slam (sporty). The fashion-led philosophy allows customisation of up to one-million different combinations. Vauxhall claims this gives the Adam the ability to be personalised in more ways than any other mass-produced car.

It has 12 body colours including Purple Fiction and James Blonde, with three contrasting roof colours - I'll be Black, White my Fire and Men in Brown. Then there are three option packs - Two-tone Black or White Pack; flamboyant Twisted Pack; and bold Extreme Pack - and three external decal packages called Splat, Fly and Stripes.

Even the ceiling headliners come in three versions - Sky (clouds), Fly (autumn leaves) and Go (chequered flag) - and there are 18 interchangeable decor panels on the dashboard and doors, two of which are backlit by LEDs which Vauxhall claims is an industry first. It has Opel's new IntelliLink infotainment system that connects a smartphone to the car and is the first system compatible with both Android and Apple iOS. It is the first Vauxhall to include new-generation Advanced Park-Assist that identifies appropriate parking spaces and steers the car into place.

 The UK will get the choice initially of three four-cylinder petrol engine specs - 52kW/115Nm 1.2-litre, 65kW/130Nm 1.4-litre and a higher-performance 75kW/130Nm 1.4 - but a three-cylinder, direct-injection turbo-petrol of about 1-litre will follow. There are no diesels and no automatic transmissions in Adam's satchel.

The car would match up against the Volkswagen Up - and its Skoda Citigo clone - and Hyundai i20, Mitsubishi Mirage and Nissan Micra, so needing a sub $14,000 price tag.

Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist
GoAutoMedia Cars have been the corner stone to Neil’s passion, beginning at pre-school age, through school but then pushed sideways while he studied accounting. It was rekindled when he started contributing to magazines including Bushdriver and then when he started a motoring section in Perth’s The Western Mail. He was then appointed as a finance writer for the evening Daily News, supplemented by writing its motoring column. He moved to The Sunday Times as finance editor and after a nine-year term, finally drove back into motoring when in 1998 he was asked to rebrand and restyle the newspaper’s motoring section, expanding it over 12 years from a two-page section to a 36-page lift-out. In 2010 he was selected to join News Ltd’s national motoring group Carsguide and covered national and international events, launches, news conferences and Car of the Year awards until November 2014 when he moved into freelancing, working for GoAuto, The West Australian, Western 4WDriver magazine, Bauer Media and as an online content writer for one of Australia’s biggest car groups. He has involved himself in all aspects including motorsport where he has competed in everything from motocross to motorkhanas and rallies including Targa West and the ARC Forest Rally. He loves all facets of the car industry, from design, manufacture, testing, marketing and even business structures and believes cars are one of the few high-volume consumables to combine a very high degree of engineering enlivened with an even higher degree of emotion from its consumers.
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