LEADING EDGE | Westcon
Limited Edition Opel ADAM S
What an experience. What an adventure from this range topper with 110 kW 1.4 litre Turbo ECOTEC engine of which only 50 units will be earmarked for South Africa.
Not only did I get to drive the car for a few days but I got to enjoy the special chassis, steering and OPC braking system putting her through her paces driving over Old Kaapse Weg.
Opel has introduced the range topping ADAM S to South Africa and completes the ADAM line-up with the newcomer positioned to attract young or young at heart buyers who seek a compact and agile car with an overtly performance oriented personality.
With 110kW and 220Nm from its turbocharged 1,4 litre Ecotec engine, and an unladen mass of 1 178 kilograms, the ADAM S delivers specific output exceeding 74 kW / litre and is a real gem in the performance area. It remains a solid car with comfort expected from much larger prestige cars and of course the handling is great.
The ADAM S is available in three distinctive ‘Twisted’ colour combos: Saturday White Fever, Shiny Rock and Red ‘n’ Roll. The first two have contrasting red roof and pillars, while the latter has a slate grey upper section. The 18-inch ‘Propeller’ wheels have a distinctive five spoke design, with red brake calipers clearly visible. For the first time in an ADAM, the exhaust tip – in this instance a chromed, oval one – can be readily seen.
The ADAM S is designed with performance in mind, to this end all of the vehicle’s external styling features have a benefit:
The roof-coloured rear wing is the most obvious change and importantly, it adds 100 Newtons of rear downforce at speed. With the ADAM S capable of a meaningful 210 km/h, it certainly isn’t just for show.
A deeper front spoiler performs a similar role to the wing, adding downforce as speed increases to maintain the front/rear aerodynamic balance.
Side skirts control airflow under the car, helping the ADAM S hug the driver’s chosen line through sweeping bends.
The big wheels not only add gravitas by filling the wheel arches to capacity, but their lightweight design reduces unsprung weight and also improves throttle response by minimising inertia.
Premium quality performance tyres measuring 225/35/18 are fitted, and along with the offset of the wheel result in increased track width (1472mm in front and 1 464 at the back) for improved stability.
“The Opel ADAM S has been designed and engineered for people who want to enjoy a sporty driving experience in a car with a unique and individual look.
To achieve this Opel engineers came up with a powertrain that would give its best across a broad rev range. With the strong inherent torque characteristics – maximum torque in on tap from 3 000 rpm - and the use of a six-speed gearbox, the driver will always enjoy instant response,” said Brian Olson, Vice President Vehicle Sales and Marketing at GM South Africa.
The ADAM S boasts a stiffer front anti-roll bar and stiffer springs for improved driving dynamics. In addition Opel has upgraded the brakes to the same specification as the previous-generation Corsa OPC – this means front discs measuring 308mm in diameter, grabbed by calipers with increased pad area.
The torsion beam rear axle has also been made more rigid, which along with the uprated springs provides sharper handling. With a wheelbase of just 2 311 mm, the Adam has always been exceptionally agile, but the ADAM S changes direction almost telepathically.
The power plant boasts a host of high-tech features to achieve its 110kW/220Nm headline numbers, yet at the same time return fuel consumption figures of just 5.9 litres/100 km with CO2 emissions of just 139 grams/km. The engine meets stringent Euro 6 emission standards, and is equipped with Stop/Start Eco setting.
Dual cam phasing for continuously variable valve timing ensures a broad torque spread, while a turbocharger integrated within the exhaust manifold helps make the engine lighter and more compact. Other weight-saving features include a cast iron block with a hollow frame structure, hollow-cast camshafts and a plastic intake manifold.
The Opel ADAM S reaches 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and will continue on to 210 km/h. But it also impresses with great elasticity: it makes the transition for 80 to 120 km/h in 5th gear in just 7.9 seconds.
The overall tactile experience is also critical, and there’s a leather-wrapped gear lever knob, which accentuates a delightfully short and direct throw, while rubber-studded pedals and a thick-rimmed steering wheel make the control interfaces as intimate as possible. The Red Your Engine décor pack is standard, which means red leather detailing for the gear knob, lower arc of the steering wheel, and the handbrake.
For the ultimate in feel and feedback, the S allows the driver to deactivate the Electronic Stability Programme at the press of a button for even more spirited driving in, say, a circuit environment.
Deserving special mention are the Recaro sport seats, which hug the occupant all the way from the lower thighs to the shoulders. Those that know me knows that I am not small at all but these seats still gave me great support and comfort. The side bolsters are trimmed in hard-wearing Moroccana and the exceptional support this gives allows the focus to shift entirely to driving, rather than staying in position. The centre portion of the seat is an easy-breathing fabric which is designed to keep things cool.
The apertures for the fitment of a full racing harness are a feature of the backrest, which is of a one-piece design for maximum rigidity and upper body support. Recaro is proudly embossed in the Moroccana section of the backrest.
The ‘donor’ package for the Adam S was the Adam Jam Xtreme so the standard equipment list is expansive. This includes climate control, height and reach adjustable steering column, power windows, cruise control and a split/foldable rear seat for added practicality.
Advanced Park Assist, Side Blind Spot Alert, Intellilink and Siri Eyes Free are just some of the features that position the Adam as South Africa’s most technologically-advanced small car - and they are all standard on the new S derivative.
“The Adam range brought a new level of sophistication and technology to the micro-hatch marketplace, allowing those who want a premium feel in an exceptionally compact package to find the perfect match for their lifestyle. With the addition of the Adam S, the perfect match in a performance hatch is now available too…”
As part of Opel’s Complete Care package ADAM S comes with a standard five years or 120 000 kilometre warranty, roadside assistance, and 3 years or 60 000 kilometre service plan. The Opel ADAM S is available immediately with a price of R 330 000.00.
It sounds expensive, but for what you get and the sheer pleasure of driving this little jewel makes it all worthwhile.