But despite its age, the Corsa shows no signs of waning popularity – according to Vauxhall, more than 83,000 units were sold in Britain over the last full year and around two million have made it onto the roads in the past two decades. And the success story is by no means limited to British shores. In Europe, Corsas represent the second most-popular nameplate available on the continent. More than 12 million cars have been sold since the first generation car was launched, equating to an average of 370,000 cars sold every single year.
The world debut of the fourth-generation Corsa was held at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, where Vauxhall proudly displayed the model that will replace its outgoing version towards the end of this year. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer was on stage to unveil the new car, along with Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, chief executive of Opel – Vauxhall's sister company in Europe.
Neumann said: "The new Corsa offers pure driving experience. Outstanding steering precision, first class comfort along with completely new high-torque turbocharged engines – traits normally reserved for much more expensive cars. Furthermore, the interior impresses with highest quality and the infotainment system guarantees excellent connectivity for Apple and Android devices."
According to the manufacturer, customer feedback pointed to the fact that many owners love the Corsa's combination of compact exterior dimensions matched with innovative use of interior space. As a result, the new model will remain almost exactly the same length and have a very similar amount of interior space available for driver and passengers to enjoy. However, major changes have been implemented elsewhere in the car, from improved drivability and increased efficiency through to better connectivity options.
All of the car's exterior panels have been replaced, with Vauxhall's designers aiming to evoke a sporty look for the three-door version and a more premium feel for the five-door model. Updates to the Corsa's interior are considerable and range from the use of high-quality trims and finishes through to a redesigned instrument panel and dashboard. Heated front seats, steering wheel and windscreen will all be available to new Corsa owners, as will the option of a full-size panoramic roof and soft-tone ambient lighting, allowing driver and passengers to choose exactly the right interior environment to match the mood.
Vauxhall's IntelliLink system with its seven-inch colour touchscreen will be available on the new Corsa, and can even be controlled via a number of smartphone apps, allowing driver and passengers to choose their entertainment options with ease. Vauxhall has designed the system to be compatible with Apple and Android mobiles. Additional technology features such as Bluetooth connectivity will be fitted as standard across the range.
Powering the new model will be a raft of new engine and transmission options available from launch. The model's headline petrol powertrain will be the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo engine, which comes with start/stop technology fitted as standard. The engine has been designed to offer excellent performance along with impressive fuel economy of up to 54.7mpg for the 90PS three-door version of the Corsa. Diesel owners meanwhile can plump for an improved 1.3-litre CDTi, which has been designed to conform to tough Euro-6 regulations.
A completely redesigned chassis has gone a long way to improving the drivability of the model – a key goal for the designers of the fourth-generation Corsa. According to Vauxhall, emphasis has been placed on "exceptional rolling refinement, ride quality, precise handling and stability". All-new suspension components help to ensure a smoother, more responsive and more enjoyable ride than ever before. What's more, the height of the car has been lowered to help with stability and roll characteristics and it now sits 5mm closer to the tarmac.
As is to be expected, the new Vauxhall Corsa will come with a raft of state-of-the-art safety features available, including Hill Start Assist and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. Automatic Park Assist will also feature, a function that allows drivers to find a parking spot to squeeze into and then let the Corsa to do all the hard work. The function makes use of the very latest technology to calculate the size of the parking space and then carefully guide the vehicle into the slot with minimum fuss. New Corsa owners can also choose to include additional safety features, including Lane Departure Warning, a rear-view camera, Side Blindspot Alert, High Beam Assist and gorgeous bi-xenon lights to really make this model stand apart from the crowd.
The fourth-generation model is already getting plenty of attention ahead of its arrival in showrooms next year. A prototype of the model is currently involved in a Guinness World Record attempt to create the largest GPS drawing ever. As the car is driven around the UK, a record will be made of its movements thanks to GPS tracking, resulting in a virtual drawing showing the car's route. The aim is to cover more than 7,000 miles around the UK mainland, from Scotland to the South Coast of England, resulting in a GPS drawing that will have particular relevance to the day on which it is unveiled.
Vauxhall spokesman Simon Hucknall said: "Corsas can be found in every village, town and city around the UK, so we wanted to visit as many locations as possible during the record attempt to raise awareness of the new car. We also wanted to create a truly unifying image using modern technology, which squared well with the level of innovation in the new car."
Find out more about the new Vauxhall Corsa by paying a visit to your nearest Pentagon Group showroom today. View the latest available Vauxhall Corsa range of models online or alternatively, give us a call on 0333 222 0424.