Opel Karl revealed
These are our first pics of the Opel Karl, a new, 3.68-metre long car that'll fit into the manufacturer's range from summer 2015.
It's much more reminiscent of the fifth-generation Corsa, rather than the perhaps overly-cutesy Adam, which is no bad thing. It comes as a five-door and has the chrome bar grille and hawkish headlights that make it look like a shrunken Corsa. Opel keeps referring to it as 'sharp', trying to draw attention to the three feature lines on the side - the two slashes higher up on the door, plus the distinctive 'blade' sweep lower down near the sills. To our eyes, though, the rear end is a little less obviously an Opel, looking a little bit Korean. Overall, it's a tidy piece of design.
The Karl can accommodate five people and should have the sort of large-car technologies not regularly seen in something this diminutive, such as the IntelliLink infotainment system. Safety and comfort features will include stability control with traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and Hill Start Assist, a City mode to lighten up the steering, Park Assist, cruise control and options such as Lane Departure Warning, heated front seats and that quaint old item, a sunroof.
Under the bonnet
One engine listed so far, and it's a little beauty - it's the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecotec petrol engine that was developed especially for the Karl, but which has already found its way into the new car's siblings, the Adam and Corsa. It runs here in 75hp trim, coupled to a 'soft' five-speed transmission and a chassis/steering set-up designed to offer comfort 'at the top of its class'.
Where did that name come from?!
Named after the son of the company's founder, Adam Opel, what we still can't understand is why the car is spelled with a 'K'; Opel's son was called Carl. Apparently, Karl is merely an homage to Adam's son.
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