Chic departure for Vauxhall

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The ADAM is Vauxhall’s refreshingly different take on the small car sector.

It doesn’t replace the brand’s conventional citycar and supermini offerings but it does offer a more stylish option that sits somewhere in between for buyers bored by the sight of BMW’s reinvented MINI on every drive and unmoved by Fiat’s funky 500.

Here’s a fashionable alternative with an encyclopaedic list of options, bidding for individuality beyond the hatchback herd.

The model title’s is a nod to Adam Opel, the founder of Vauxhall’s European sister company, but is unlikely to start a trend for Biblical car names.

It may though, start a trend for buyer personalisation, the like of which the market has never before seen. With over a million possible specification and trim combinations, the chances of two identical Vauxhall ADAMs ever being produced are statistically quite slim. Ground-breaking where it matters then - in the showroom.

To disguise perhaps the fact that this car is actually quite conventional in arguably less important areas, running on the underpinnings of Vauxhall’s old third generation Corsa.

The dealer network won’t mind. It’s the stylish look and feel that will sell this model. True enough, the Griffin brand has brought us some stylish designs in the past, but they’ve only appealed to a small percentage of the car buying population.

Now at last, we’ve a Vauxhall with widespread chic appeal - a pretty new concept for British customers to grasp. Let’s try it.

So the name’s unusual. And so, for Vauxhall, is the approach.

It’s all rather intriguing.

The tiny lifestyle city statement this car represents is a well familiar one of course. But no rival MINI or Fiat 500 has yet offered scope for personalisation quite on this scale.

Some of course will argue that these cars are trendier-looking to start with and so need less dressing up. But by the same token, many others are starting to find their retro-vibe tiresome and overly familiar.

These people may well be quite happy to sign up to a newer, fresher look, even if to get it, they must trade the higher-tech and sportier handling that some other rivals will offer.

And of course, as with most cars of this kind, they must be prepared to forgo the greater space they’d have enjoyed in an ordinary run-of-the-mill supermini that would have cost much the same.

The growth of this particular little market niche suggest that there are many buyers out there making those sorts of choices and in meeting their needs, this is very much the kind of more interesting fashion-led product Vauxhall simply has to make for long term profitability.

If it strikes a chord with you, well why not? It may well be time to say ‘Hello’ to ADAM.