New Vauxhall Adam revealed

* New Vauxhall Adam city car * Rival for Fiat 500 and Mini * On sale in January 2013...

New Vauxhall Adam revealed

This is the Vauxhall Adam, a new city car that will offer an alternative to the Fiat 500 and Mini hatchback when it goes on sale in January.

The Adam is a three-door four-seater that's nearly 3.7 metres long and 1.72 metres wide; that makes it larger than the 500, but shorter and wider than the Mini.

Designed under the direction of Briton, Mark Adams, the new car incorporates many of the recent Vauxhall styling cues, including a crisp line around the door handle (Astra GTC) and the blade shape in the lower doors, first seen on the Insignia.

The cars most radical styling feature is its floating roof, which offers contrasts in either the panel colour or the pillars, or both. Vauxhall says personalisation will be a key part of the Adam, and that more than a million combinations of colours, trims and wheels will be available. It will launch with three trims: Jam (fashionable and colourful), Glam (elegant and sophisticated) and Slam (racy and sporty).

'Floating' roof design can be specified with contrasting panels and pillars

The Adam will be offered with 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels, although the lowered sports chassis is available with only the two larger sizes. Like the 500, the Adam will come with a selectable City mode, which increases the amount of power-steering assistance at lower speeds.

The engines at launch will be familiar Vauxhall four-cylinder petrol motors: a 1.2-litre with 69bhp and two 1.4s producing 86bhp and 99bhp. All will be offered with a five-speed manual transmission.

Later in 2013, the car will get Vauxhalls new three-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor, and a six-speed gearbox. There are no plans at present for a diesel version.

Choice of petrol engines; no plans for a diesel

The cabin features a bold, body-coloured fascia and a prominent seven-inch touch-screen infotainment system that offers internet connectivity, compatibility with Android and Apple smartphones, and satellite-navigation.

Safety technology includes front, side and head curtain airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners for the front passengers, and two sets of Isofix child-seat fixing points in the rear seat, which also folds with a 50:50 split.

Dashboard has body-coloured trim and touch-screen entertainment system

Vauxhall claims the cars options list will feature items rarely seen on city cars. These include a heated steering wheel, Advanced Park Assist (which tells the driver when it finds a parking space big enough for the car, then steers into it), and an LED-equipped roof lining, which looks like twinkling stars above the cars occupants.

Prices are likely to start at around 11,000

The Adam will be offered with Vauxhalls Lifetime Warranty, which covers first owners for the lifetime or the car, or up to 100,000 miles. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but wed expect the Adam to slot in between the 500 and Mini, which should give it a range of between 11,000 and around 17,000. However, as with its two main rivals, personalisation and options could add plenty to the final bill.

Read more about the new Vauxhall Adam >>

John McIlroy