Opel, General Motors’ German subsidiary, announced the Adam S hatchback this week ahead of its official debut in Paris.
The “turbocharged pocket rocket,” as Opel calls it, features a 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder that makes 150 horsepower. That’s good for an enthusiastic 0 to 60 mph time of 8.5 seconds. Don’t expect to make McLaren nervous with that time, but straight-line acceleration isn’t what zippy hatchbacks like these are about.
No, the sub 2500-pound city car is born for the twisties, where its tuned suspension and Opel Performance Center (OPC) braking system will make you feel like you’re going much faster than you actually are.
Still, its 150-hp output pegs it above the only other hot hatchback under the GM banner, the 137-hp Sonic RS, and it’s nipping at the heels of the 160-hp Fiat 500 Abarth.
The Adam S wears the optional “Red n’ Roll” styling package in the photos above, which includes a trick colored roof, exhaust bumper cutouts, and a batch of lips and spoilers that almost audibly scream, “I’M A RACE CAR!” For added performance, Opel will adhere special “S” graphics to the roof.
The Adam S will make its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in October, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for a hotter OPC version.
OPC is to Opel as Abarth is to Fiat, and as good as the Adam S is, OPC can undoubtedly improve on the hatchback’s sportiness. Most recently, OPC fitted the Astra J GTC hatchback with a 2.0-liter turbo engine making an ‘Extreme’ 300 hp.
Opels aren’t available in the U.S., which is sad because there’s a distinct lack of hot hatches available from GM. Actually, outside of Ford, there’s an unfortunate lack of hatch hatches from American automakers in general.
We love big V8s and wide-bodied intimidation as much as the next guy, but as the automotive landscape continues to change, we’ll be looking for a hatchback-shaped silver lining.
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