Opel Karl aims to win European customers of Chevrolet brand

Article by Christian A., on January 21, 2015

The new Opel Karl entry-level car will have starting price of just EUR9,500 ($11,100), including sales tax. The pricing is aimed at winning over European customers of the Chevrolet brand General Motors has decided to stop offering in most markets in the region Europe by the end of the year.

The Karl, which will be sold as Viva by sister brand Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, will replace the Agila as Opel’s new entry-level model. According to the brand, Karl will feature safety and driver systems usually not found in minicars like lane departure warning, a reversing assistant, as well as heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Opel chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement that the Karl is the ideal car for buyers who are not only price-conscious but also seeks comfort, fuel efficiency and modern technology. While the Karl is slightly shorter than the Adam (3,680mm vs. 3,700mm), it offers a more spacious interior and could carry one more passenger.

It is also cheaper than Adam’s EUR11,750 starting tag. GM tried to introduce Chevrolet as a value brand in Europe in 2005, but was selling only around 200,000 units annual. Chevrolet tried to hike sales by heavy discounting and by offering more upmarket models, but that move brought it to a price war with Opel.

So far, a good majority of the 1,900 Chevrolet dealers in Europe are now selling Opel vehicles. The Karl could be availed with the 74-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine that was recently offered on the Adam.

Interest customers can start ordering their Karls on January 19, with actual sales to commence in June. The Karl will be produced by General Motors’ Daewoo division in South Korea.

Small yet roomy, a striking look while being completely - this is what consumers can anticipate from Opel's new entry-level vehicle, known simply as Karl. The mini car, available from euro 9,500 (RRP including VAT in Germany), has a design that started with a sheet of paper and commemorated its launch on the Geneva Motor Show’s big stage. For this appealing price, buyers will get a 3.68-m long, 1.48-m high attractive five-doored car with room for up to five people along with many safety and comfort advances unrivalled in its group.

Karl will also come soon with the latest available automotive connectivity. From the fall of 2015, buyers can order it with the new generation IntelliLink infotainment system and Opel OnStar, the personalised connectivity and service assistant, that make the Karl the best connected and most caring in the group. Opel's new entry-level vehicle has a customised, fully new, one-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder gasoline engine with fuel use and CO2 emission levels potentially as low as 4.3 L per 100 km and 99 g per km, combined, respectively.

From summer 2015, Opel Karl, the practical entry-level car, Adam, the personalisation champ, and Corsa, the famous all-arounder, will provide Opel with its strongest portfolio of mini and small cars ever - and the market’s youngest. They offer everything that can be desired.

Concise, clean, and charismatic - the name Karl illustrates its benefits. It is a grown-up vehicle and will attract the heart as well as the intellect. The Karl offers classic Opel quality and ideals, beginning with the quiet, advanced, one-litre, three-cylinder engine and does not end with its many safety and comfort appointments unique in this group. The Opel Karl is ideal for price-conscious consumers who want to blend everyday use with comfortable and modern tech.

Opel developed the Karl with practicality and adaptability in mind. With a 2.385-mm long wheelbase and weighing in at 939 kg, it offers plenty of space for up to five. The driver’s seat and steering column are adjustable (both as from Enjoy), and there are two ISOFIX child seats in the back. The asymmetrical (40:60) split-folding rear seat (optional with Enjoy, standard with Cosmo) allows for flexible and ample loading room: With the rear seats folded down, the Karl provides 1,013 L of room up to the roof. The light Karl also has Opel-engineered, best-in-class ride and control.

The front’s suspension has side-loaded springs, double-bonded ride bushings, and a high structural sturdiness for improved handling and minimised NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Other ride-improving measures appear in the suspension in the rear.

V-section tubular type torsion beam in front of the rear wheels allows the roll-rate and roll-steer traits to perfectly align with engine strength and the vehicle’s weight. Also, the vertically mounted rear shocks behind the rear wheels provide an excellent shock leverage ratio and effective damping performance and the upright twin-path mount creates better drive and NVH performance. The customised steering adds also to the excellent ride and control, whether in standard or City modes.

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