| Home | Here are the Reviews | GT2 Racing Guide | GT3 Racing Guide | GT4 Racing Guide | GT5 Racing Guide | GT6 Racing Guide | Links to other GT sites

Opel Corsa

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

white_corsa.jpg

Years Represented: 1999-2001````````````Host: GT2 & GT4

Class: Subcompact Car
Type: 3-door hatchback
Country: Germany 


Price: $17,960 (Comfort 1.4 GSi--GT4)

Construction:
Length: 150.3" // Width: 64.8" // Height: 56.7"
Wheelbase: 98.1"
Track: 55.8" [F] 55.4" [R]
Ground Clearance: 6.3"
Weight: 2,199 pounds
Drag: 0.320
 
Steering: power-assisted rack & pinion
Turns lock to lock: 4.30
Turn Radius: 32 feet 5.5"
Layout: Front Engine / Front Drive
Tires: 175/65R-14 t
F. Suspension: MacPherson struts, coils, anti-roll bar, shox
R. Suspension: compound torsion bars, coils, shox, anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented disc/drum + ABS

Engine: 1.4 liter DOHC inline-4
Aspiration: natural
Fuel System: EFi
Valves / Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: 3.06 x 2.89"
Compression: 10.5:1
 
Final BHP: 93 @ 6,000 rpm
Fnl Torque: 97 @ 4,000 rpm
 
Credits per HP: $193.12
Pounds per HP: 23.64
Hp per LIter: 66.9
 
Idle Speed: 750 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000

Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Differential: open

0-60 mph: 12.766 seconds
0-100mph: 34.449 seconds
 
1/4 Mile: 19.428 @ 76 mph
1 Kilom: 34.528 @ 98 mph

 
Test Track Lap: no test

100-zero mph: 3.9x seconds
Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 3,100

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 25 mph
2nd: 51 mph
3rd: 79 mph
 4th: 100 mph
5th: 117.00 mph @ 6,050 rpm


--------------EXTERIOR----------------

"Hey I'm going to pick up the pizza...anybody want some?" I imagine saying this as I leave my London flat, and jump in my Opel Corsa (or Vauxhall Corsa, if we're assuming this little pizza quest takes place in England). The Corsa is a car I never dream about, but it gets me where I need to go every day, every week, and for years.

The Opel Corsa looks as if it could play many roles, actually. Courier, pizza delivery car, thrifty dad or mom's transport, company car, a teenager's first automobile, and so on... Something about the Corsa looks so ordinary, and yet this 3-door compact has a bit of flair. It's not dead-boring, yet it's also not something which stands out from the crowd even a little bit...whether this crowd is amongst hundreds of other cars on a European highway, or in Gran Turismo. So, it can play many roles, so what about that of racing hatch?

The Corsa appears in two GT games: GT2 and GT4. GT2 has the Corsa Sport 1.6i 16v, and GT4 has a Corsa Comfort 1.4 GSi. These two cars represent two different generations of Corsa: the car in GT2 is from the Corsa B generation (1993-2000), and the car in GT4 is from the Corsa C generation (2,000-2006). The Corsa in real-life is horribly slow, but is easy to drive and easy to park, and it gets phenomenol fuel mileage. These traits in and of themselves make it useful for many. A perfect car for civilian uses, essentially. But slow. Not really a race car. 

The two Corsas in our games happen to be the BEST Corsas one can buy; there are other real-life versions which are even slower, which puts things in perspective. Imagine (in our game) going even slower than a sport Corsa does. That's a scary thought. 

 During my 10 minute research on this car (that's all it takes, trust me), I learned very little that I didn't already assume. Check out the quotes below (in a smaller font) from
www.parkers.co.uk 

This quote is for the Corsa B review (in-effect, the car that's in GT2):


Most people have an experience of Corsa - whether it’s owning one, renting one, learning to drive in one or simply being stuck behind one! This Corsa is directly descended from the model that was originally launched in 1993. It's a vast improvement on its ageing parent, but it fails to meet high standards set by the latest Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz.

The Corsa from this time-period really is a completely ordinary vehicle. Below is a quote from the same site (parkers.co.uk) on the Corsa C:
 
Unfortunately, it’s not the most modern range of engines, but most suit the car well. The 1.2 offers the best mix of power and economy but needs revving hard to get the best from it. There are plenty of 1.0-litre examples around, but beware: most have been thrashed as former driving school or teenage first cars.

Beginning to see a pattern here? These words aren't exactly jumping off the page with excitement, right? In fact, both quotes seem more like warnings than unbiased car-reviews! Why is this car in our game, then? Is there any hope?

One of the beautiful things about Gran Turismo is the fact that it's not afraid to include completely ordinary, everyday cars amongst a field of greater ones. And the process of fixing up these ordinary autos... making them great, making them little superstars, is part of what Gran Turismo is really all about, the reason it was (and in some ways still is) different from many other games.

When I bought and started driving this lightweight, 2,199-pound baby, I imagined perhaps the Corsa would be another Peugeot 106. Low-powered, cheap, just a tad sporty, but a car which can quickly become the local track-punk, bossing others around with just a few inexpensive mods. I looked forward to my Opel Corsa experience, eager for the chance to get my racing fix yet again, as I showed some other drivers how it's done....
 

------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-------------

Well, do you want the quick answer, or the long one? ;)

The quick one is really quick. No. Just one word. No. The longer answer?

This car is not another fast & furious contender. It is not another Peugeot 106, Civic SiR, or Focus RS. It will not get your heart racing with adrenaline! It offers few surprises, and when it does, they're usually bad ones.

 There's two ways to look at the Corsa: 1> here's a great beginner's car. And 2> which they'll get bored of in less than a week!
 
Lowish power (roughly half the horsepower of a Civic Si) is mostly to blame, of course. But even with upgrades, there isn't much to look forward to. If you're curious, there are three NA Tunes and two turbos trying their best to please in GT4.
...That's a great way to describe my experience as I tested and raced the Corsa...it always seems as though it's trying, but usually falls short. After awhile, you start feeling sorry for this poor 1.4 liter mousetrap because it rarely ever excels.

Since I never drove the Corsa Sport of GT2, I'm not sure what its upgrades are, but maximum power in this game rates at a lowish 219 hp. Acceptable, since we can get a few B license races under our belt, but certainly not stellar, especially when we consider some other power-hatches can make well over 300 in this game. Even the Honda CR-X (which I bashed a bit in my CR-X review) outshines the poor Corsa Sport. 

In GT4, we don't even have a Sport, instead, we got a Comfort! I wonder what the difference is supposed to be. A Corsa Comfort with Stage 2 turbo is even worse than the Sport 1.6 of GT2. With all the best, the Comfort makes a disappointing 194 bhp. This makes the Peugeot 106's max of 250 seem Ferrari-like in comparison. 

There are just a few races a Corsa Comfort can finish in this game: Sunday Cup, Euro Hot Hatch, Swarzwald Liga A, and the Professional League Compact Car Series come to mind. Not bad, but to compete in all of these, it's guaranteed the driver will need to spend at least $50,000 for parts & services, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying an "economy" hatch in the first place! Granted, you'll win all this money back and earn profits if you finish the four series mentioned above, but this assumes you're good enough to struggle with the Corsa to earn some wins.

With its 5-speed transmission, the Corsa slugs around. The transmission in this car is not a bad one. Fourth and fifth gear aren't super-tall, for instance. With upgrades, the car can climb hills and gain speed with a  stock transmission. The Corsa 5-speed makes the most of what meager power this car has to offer, and doesn't interfere with odd gearing arrangements. At some point, however, you may find yourself wanting different gears.

The close gearbox, unfortunately, is too close, maxing at just over 104 mph. And this makes it useless for many situations except super-small tracks like Autumn Ring Mini or Paris. A serious Corsa driver (ppffffft!!) will need full-custom gears.

For my track testing above, I used an automatic. But while racing recently, I drove this car as a manual, like it makes any difference! A manual driver will be able to extract what little this engine has to offer, of course, but in either situation, there isn't much to gain and little to excel with.

corsa_rear.jpg

------------CHASSIS / HANDLING------------


Steering lacks precision and handling is not sufficiently precise to match rivals. Grip and road holding are not that solid. In 1997 Lotus tweaked the suspension for the better, so it’s finally fun to drive on back roads, but under normal urban conditions the Corsa feels, well, rather coarse and the ride is jarring at times and can pick up every rut in the road.

Another quote from that website. Quite an apt description to start this chapter off, too. Not very solid. Coarse, jarring ride. Lacks precise handling and has inaccurate steering. Sounds about right. There's more to say, however; since I actually raced this car, and the folks at Parkers merely commuted in it.

Needless to say, here we have a disappointing ride, folks. Not a disaster, but far from being one of the kings of front-drive vehicles. It's funny how accurate the Parkers description is. The Corsa dives into corners, feeling confident as any front-drive under braking, yet understeer almost always shows up late-corner if you punch the fuel too early, even if you punch it just a little bit. Again, I'm gonna compare Corsa to the infamous Pug 106 to show some perspective.

It's true that the 106 also understeers, but you can also make it go away easily by taming the throttle momentarily; making understeer YOUR slave...not the other way around. Not so in a Corsa. The 100 to zero mph brake test up above for this car shows that it is somewhat behind some other front-drives when it comes to braking times (and therefore) distances, but it is only once you're really gritting behind the wheel, driving this car for all its worth (or even half its worth!) that you really realize how uncoordinated this car feels. It starts with the brakes, and ends typically with too much understeer, or just enough to ruin cornering arcs. 

As I said, you can't punch the throttle early, not even mid-corner half-punches are acceptable at times! Instead, you'll find mid-corner is mostly coasting time for this car, and the Corsa will need wide moments of no-power action if it's to re-orient itself before getting back on the straight. When low powered, the Corsa exhibits great traction...one of its only merits so far. But it still feels awkward, mushy, and difficult to point. Once we are working with a Stage 2 turbo (just 170 horses or more), odd moments of wheelspin start showing up. To tame them, this car requires a limited-slip.

Despite all these negatives, the Corsa can be fun to drive, especially at tighter tracks with a lot of turns, if you don't mind sub-standard performance at all the other tracks that aren't so twisty. The Corsa does its job, but we rarely thank or think of it. 

   

PROS------------------------------------

1). Great car for a "never driven before" type of driver, in real-life or in the game. A friend of mine who sucks at racing games, for instance, was able to pilot a Corsa in GT2 with minimal consequences.

2). Kind of a funky flair to its looks (this pertains to the Corsa C Comfort of GT4 more than it pertains to the Corsa B Sport of GT2).

3). Civic weight.

4). Sips fuel thru a straw, rather than a funnel.

5). Useful traction while stock, and up to about 160 horsepower.

6). Inexpensive.


CONS--------------------------------

1). Inexpensive initial cost, yes...but for the same amount of money, one can buy many other cars (even other front-drive hatches) that are better. Costs a lot of credits to make a Corsa marginally useful as a racing car.

2). Even though this is a light car, full weight reductions are suggested. It starts to maneuver a bit better after Stage 3 is taken care of in GT4. GT2's Corsa might not have as much issues here.

3). That uncoordinated, swishy feeling while braking and cornering is not your imagination. This car understeers more than other modern front-drives, and doesn't recover well from its own foibles, despite being a classified by European standards as a sub-compact.

4). Poor braking capabilities. The Corsa can out-brake others (it helps that the Ai in GT4 isn't good at braking), but don't get too confident. This car ultimately doesn't aim to please in the stopping department.

5). Poor acceleration.

6). Low power, torque. Poor power-upgrades in either GT2 or GT4.

7). Corsa Sport 1.6 16v in GT2 can't accept a racing kit. But what birdbrain would wanna spend like $85,000 on this soup-handle anyways?  

8). GT4: Close gearing too short. Stock gearing feels clumsy at times. Full-custom parts needed for those who want to make a go of this car

9). With Civic-like power (over 170 horses), all a sudden the Corsa desperately needs a limited-slip, otherwise wheelspin starts to throw a little party in your honor. Lucky you.



Published: January 9, 2009 


CONS----------------------------------  

CLICK HERE FOR MORE CAR REVIEWS PLEASE