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MOTORING: OPEL ADAM S

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The world of motoring has changed drastically over the last few years and this trend does not seem to be slowing down. Never would I have said that we would move away from petrol engines to electric and even less so to a world where cars would be driver-less. I assume this is the same change people went through when cars were first invented and referred to as ‘horseless carriages’. That being said, the one thing that does seem to remain consistent with manufacturers and buyers alike is the constant need for individualisation and sportiness.

This is exactly what the Opel Adam S is all about. The overall shape of the Adam S is no different to the standard Adam, but it does have some individual add-ons. The most noticeable of these additions is the rear spoiler that looks like an airplane wing. Opel have also colour-coded the lower body kit making the car look lower and a bit more aggressive. The oversized mag wheels complete this sporty aggressive look. Going back to individuality, the Adam S can be ordered in different colour combinations where the roof and the body are different colours, allowing for a contrast not usually seen on the road …

Inside, the changes are evident everywhere. In keeping with the sporty boy racer look, the Recaro sports seats don’t just look the part but also have the right amount of support when pushing the limits with this vehicle. The thick leather-bound steering wheel and gear knob feel perfectly balanced and positioned for those tight corners and quick gear changes. The dashboard has also been given the S treatment, with its colour dashboard insert and a red stripe with the S monogram running down the passenger side of the dashboard. The black seats and door panels are completed with red stitching and finish off the sporty, upmarket quality look and feel.

The 1,4-litre Turbo ECOTEC engine produces a healthy 110 kW, and this, mated to the fairly light weight body, makes for some impressive performance. Start the motor and there is a definitive growl that emanates. It may not be comparable to a V8 but it’s enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. On the road, the car feels solid and is fun to drive. This is mainly due to the low centre of gravity making you feel like you are in a go-kart. The one drawback, though, is that you will consistently be pulling off as quickly as you can and try to clip every corner. This may be a lot of fun but will cost you at the pumps and in regular tyre replacements.

Space inside is ample even for four average-sized adults, but don’t expect to load much in the micro boot. This is a pure city car – in design, looks, ease of parking and boot space. The fuel consumption when driven normally is actually very good, which is again in line with city vehicles. But turn on the heat and the other side awakens, which calls for white knuckles and a much thirstier motor. That being said, it’s still frugal compared to a V8.

On the whole, the S version allows the Opel Adam to compete in the hot hatch/pocket rocket space with ease. The vehicle has the looks and power with the added advantage of being able to choose your own colour combinations (within reason). This, together with excellent build quality and feeling bigger than it actually is inside, makes for a winning combination.

Engine – 2,1 l  4 Cylinder Turbo

Power – 125 kW

Torque – 400 Nm

0–100 km/H – N/A

Price – From R551 100