THIS could be the new Holden Barina, should Holden decide to import it as a rival to the Ford Fiesta.
In Europe it’s called the Opel Corsa and this freshly updated version has just been revealed at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Holden wouldn’t say if it’s considering the Corsa as a replacement for the Holden Barina, but one key Opel employee revealed it would.
Asked by Wheels if the Corsa would hit Aussie roads, Opel exterior design director Malcolm Ward said: “I can’t really tell you that, but, yeah, I think it is. I really think it is. I actually don’t know when, but we’re launching the Corsa in Europe now and I think it goes on sale towards the end of the year, so Australia and New Zealand will be pretty soon after that.”
The official line from Holden was: “We’ll look at every car that’s available to us from the GM portfolio and see what makes good business sense. At this stage our focus is on the three Opel models we’ve got coming next year.”
Holden has already confirmed it will import the Opel Astra GTC/VXR, Insignia VXR and Cascada convertible early next year, with the front-drive Insignia widely tipped to replace the Commodore as Holden’s large family sedan once local manufacturing ends.
The new-generation Corsa will be available in three-door and five-door body styles and is built on a heavily revised version of the current Corsa platform.
Every exterior panel is new, as is the interior, and among a five-strong engine range is a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that produces up to 85kW/170Nm.
The new Corsa is lower, slightly longer and boasts new electric steering, while customers will be able to choose from two chassis tunes – comfort or sport, the latter riding on 15-20mm lower suspension and bigger 16 or 17-inch wheels.
Corsa also bristles with Opel’s latest safety technology, including lane-departure warning, sign-post recognition, high-beam assist and forward-collision warning as options.
Hard-core performance junkies will also get their fill, with a Corsa VXR already spotted undergoing testing at the Nurburgring.
Expect the VXR to ride on 18-inch wheels, sport an even more aggressive body kit, bigger brakes and produce about 150kW.
Click here to read the full range review of the Holden Barina