Opel Corsa celebrates 40th anniversary

Opel’s popular Corsa hatchback comes of age

Reuben Van Niekerk
Opel Corsa

2022 will see Opel celebrate its 160th anniversary while the popular Opel Corsa celebrates 40 years of production. Globally the Corsa remains as popular as ever, with it being the most popular small car in Germany and the best selling car in the UK in 2021.


The Corsa was initially designed to fill a gap in Opel’s line up when the Kadett grew in size. The first Corsa’s rolled off the production line in Zaragoza in 1982. In the 40 years since its launch, more than 14 million units have been produced.


The ongoing success of the Corsa is partly due to the fact that all generations of the Corsa have always featured technologies that were previously only available in more premium models. This includes safety and assistance systems such as ABS and airbags and even a front camera that features a distance indicator, road sign recognition and lane keep assist.


First generation: 1982 to 1993

The first Corsa featured compact proportions and a 3.62metre overall length. Bold, flared wheel arches like a rally car contributed to the crisp, chiselled lines.


Second generation: 1993 to 2000

Designers of the second generation Corsa set out to create a model that appealed to the fairer sex with much rounder, softer styling and saucer-eye headlamps, which complimented the cute look. The second generation Corsa was the first model to go on sale in South Africa and was fitted with safety features such as ABS, side-impact protection and front airbags. This generation was available in a variety of body shapes, including a small bakkie, which proved to be extremely popular in South Africa.


Third generation: 2000 to 2006

The styling of the third generation was consciously oriented towards that of its successful predecessor but saw the Corsa grow by a further 10 centimetres, now totalling 3.84 metres in length. Sophisticated four-valve Ecotec petrol and direct-injection turbo diesel engines ensured good power, fuel consumption and emission levels.


Fourth generation: 2006 to 2014

From the fourth generation, the three and five-door generations went their separate ways with the three-door model featuring coupe like styling aimed at customers searching for a sporty looking car. The five-door variant became a spacious family car. Thanks to Opel’s EcoFlex technology, the Corsa boasted Stop/Start technology and highly efficient engines.


Fifth generation: 2014 to 2019

For the first time the Corsa exceeded the four-metre mark, as it offered comfort and technologies including a heatable steering wheel, seat heating and automatic climate control as well as a front camera with distance indicator, traffic sign recognition and lane keep assist. The Intelligent infotainment system included a seven-inch colour touchscreen along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Top of the range models include a 152kW Corsa OPC and a 110kW Corsa GSi.


Sixth generation: Introduced in 2019

Opel is equipped for future challenges with the sixth generation Corsa which is available globally as a purely battery electric vehicle, that is emissions free for the first time. State of the art systems and technology include Intelli-Lux LED matrix lights, Forward Collision Alert and radar-based cruise control. The latest Corsa is more direct and dynamic offering more fun behind the wheel and has once again become one of the most popular small cars in all the markets where it is sold.


The sixth generation Opel Corsa is available with a variety of 1.2 litre engines ranging in power output from 55kW to 96kW. Pricing starts at R298 900.


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