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Opel Corsa



Years Represented: 1999-2001````````````Host: GT2, GT4, GT5

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

Price: 17,960 ('01 Comfort 1.4 GSi--GT4)
         14,986 ('01 Vauxhall Comfort 1.4 --GT5)

Construction: probably unitary steel
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

The GT4 Corsa is a new car, while the one in GT5 was used, and needed an oil change. Since the dealer quotes 88 horsepower for the GT5, that's why the Corsa in that game was tested with less hp. I also used medium "comfort" tires on this car.   

                          GT4                          GT5 
Final BHP: 93 @ 6,000 rpm      86 @ 6,000 
Fnl Torque: 97 @ 4,000 rpm    91 @ 4,000
Credits per HP: 193.12                  189.90
Pounds per HP: 23.64                     25.58
Hp per LIter: 66.9                             62.6  
GT4 Idle Speed: 750 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
GT5 Idle Speed: 800 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000

Transmission: 5-speed automatic (GT4), 5-speed manual (GT5)
Differential: open

0-60 mph: 12.766 seconds         12.320
0-100mph: 39.449 seconds         40.968
400 M: 19.428 @ 76 mph    18.944 @ 76 mph
1 Kilom: 34.528 @ 98 mph    34.458 (mph n/a)

1 Mile:    no test              48.103 @ 103 mph

Test Track Lap: no test            1:20.260 (Daytona, Lap 2)

100-zero mph: 3.9x seconds    5.766 seconds
Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 3,100 in both games

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 25 mph
2nd: 51 mph
3rd: 79 mph
 4th: 100 mph
5th: 117.00 mph @ 6,050 rpm
       113.70 mph @ 6,000 rpm


"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?

I'm looking at the Corsa as it appears in three GT games: GT2, GT4, and GT5. GT2 has the Corsa Sport 1.6i 16v, and GT4 + 5 have a Corsa Comfort 1.4. These two cars represent two different generations of Corsa: the car in GT2 is from the Corsa B generation (1993-2000), and the ones in GT4/5 is from the Corsa C generation (2,000-2006). In all games there are both Opel and Vauxhall versions of each. 

The Corsa in real-life is horribly slow, but is easy to drive and easy to park, and 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

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.

Prices have fluctuated over the years. GT2 has the Corsa Sport pegged at 19,880. The fifth game has lower costs, though not that much lower. I just bought a Vauxhall Corsa Comfort for just under 16,000, for instance. Since all Corsas are used in this game, prices range in GT5, so some will be slightly less than 16 grand in this game, and others a little more. GT5 was released in 2010, okay? This means that over the course of nine years, the Corsa has barely depreciated. 


When I bought and started driving this lightweight, 2,199-pound baby, I imagined the Corsa would perhaps be another Peugeot 106. Another Volkswagen Lupo. 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 in GT4, while GT5 includes three of each kit trying their best to please.  

...That's a great way to describe my experience as I tested, drove, and raced the Corsa...it always seems as though it's trying. But it 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 just 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 this game 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 the fourth game: Sunday Cup, Euro Hot Hatch, Schwarzwald 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 cr. 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.

The short answer "No" during the beginning of this chapter now becomes much more of a "Yes". We've got a lot more Corsa material in this game, since a lot of early racing in 5 is super easy. Top power rates around 205. But we won't need anywhere near this to tackle most events in this game.

 Finally, the Corsa feels more confident. Sunday Cup, FF Challenge, World Compact Car Series can all be done fairly, and for very minimal extra money spent. The best turbo system (or even Stage 1) won't be needed, for instance. Think "sports muffler" here, maybe an oil change or the computer chip there.

So, the Corsa shines during the Beginner League, but the winning won't end there. In the Amateur hall there's the Clubman Cup and Euro Hot Hatch Series. During the Expert hall we've got Schwarzwald League A, which oddly doesn't require much power. British Lightweights can also be tackled during the Pro Series, however in these two sets of high-paced action the Vauxhall version of this car really needs to be wrenched around with an odd combination of force and delicate.

Actually, for those drivers who do enter the Vauxhall into British Lightweights, you might be delighted to know that finally, here's a couple of races in which we can use nearly ALL the available Stage 3 power sold from the parts shop. This power is actually needed to keep up with the maniacs who drive in these two Lightweight sprints.

And this is it. PD Cup and Gran Turismo Rally are two others which might work for this hatch, since it technically qualifies for both. Problem is, there ain't enough available power to make this happen!

Suffice to say though, the Corsa's flaws don't shine as brightly during the early, easy stuff. We've got a much more confident car in this fifth game, only because so much of the racing takes so much less. Um.  
But what does that mean, that sentence a few paragraphs above? "The Corsa really needs to be wrenched around with an odd combination of force and delicate?"  


------------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.

During early races such as the Sundays, the Corsa becomes more confident. However, this is only because early competition in this game rates somewhere between "retard" and "knockoff".

This is really only true at slower tracks though, such as Tsukuba and Autumn Ring Mini. Push the Corsa harder into the higher-speed turns of Grand Valley East (such as, the right bend just after the tunnel) and hopefully the front-end has been sufficiently aimed, maybe some brakes sufficiently employed. Otherwise we're back to where we were in earlier games, hopelessly understeering, maybe sliding a bit toward that outside wall. Youch! - Trying damage control after the point of no return might be possible in a Lupo or a CR-X, but in a Corsa there's less hope.

Now for the harder stuff. Racing at London and the Top Speed Test Track during British Lightweights can merely be challenging for those of us experienced, but quite a nightmare for those who aren't. At London for instance, any car will need to be directed into this track's blind curves and corners before we can see where we'll wind up. On crap tires the Vauxhall can survive; but this assumes the driver is able to navigate this track's frequent pivots and switchbacks with appropriate inputs moment to moment. If he or she isn't, those front fenders are going to tag plenty of walls!

Some might prefer to add a limited-slip device and lowered suspension for these races, but it's possible to win without these parts. This hatch works with us to some extent, to the point that some drivers might prefer this car's understeer to an Elise's oversteer.

Understeer in a Corsa is constant during those higher-speed turns of course; listen to those front tires hang for dear life! - But like I said, the Corsa does work with the driver a bit more than it did in GT4, assuming one really gets to know this car. Too bad truer comparisons can't be made though, since there aren't any other lighter British front-drive hatches in this game. Can't compare to a 106 for instance (which is French) as we whisk by London's walls with millimeters to spare.

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. 



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.


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 in any game except early GT5.

2). Even though this is a light car, full weight reductions are suggested (GT4). Corsas start to maneuver a bit better after Stage 3 is taken care of in GT4. GT2's Corsa might not have as much issues here, depending how skilled the driver is.

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 and 5 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 any game, as well.

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 (just over 160 horses), all a sudden the Corsa desperately needs a limited-slip in some games, otherwise wheelspin starts to throw a little party in our honor. Lucky us.

Published: January 9, 2009
Late November 2022 (GT5 content)