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New electric Vauxhall Corsa-e now available to order

Corsa-e opens for ordering

The all-electric version of the new Vauxhall Corsa is now available to order. Don’t expect to receive your new car until 2020, though.

The Corsa-e is the ‘flag-bearer for a completely new Corsa range’, which Vauxhall wants to ‘normalise electric car ownership’. A good start is accessibility: the Corsa-e will cost from £26,490 (after the government electric car grant), but you can reserve one now from £500. The first 500 reservations will also receive a free home charging kit.

That seems steep, but all electric Corsas will come well-equipped, with standard features including sat-nav, LED headlights, parking sensors, a DAB radio and a seven-inch touchscreen.

Corsa-e opens for ordering

You can drive a Corsa-e from £270 per month on PCP, over a 47-month period, with a £5,549 deposit payment.

The Corsa-e’s battery is warrantied to deliver 70 percent or more of its capacity up to 100,000 miles or eight years. The 50kWh unit is good for 205 miles of range and can be recharged to 80 percent capacity (using a public fast-charger) in as little as 30 minutes.

In terms of power, the Corsa-e has 136hp and can reach 62mph in 8.1 seconds. 

Corsa-e opens for ordering

The new Corsa, along with the all-electric Corsa-e, will debut in the metal at Frankfurt Motor Show in September. First deliveries will start next year, after series production begins in January.

Will this be the model to popularise the electric car? We suspect it may get in a tussle with the new electric Peugeot 208 for that honour.

Vauxhall will give you £4,000 to scrap your old car

Vauxhall scrappage event June 2019

Vauxhall is offering a minimum £4,000 guaranteed scrappage allowance on selected vehicles purchased in June.

The ‘Trade Up’ offer – which is available until the end of the month – is available on Astra, Mokka X, Crossland X, Grandland X and Viva Rocks models.

The trade-in car must be at least seven years old to be valid for the scrappage allowance.

Alternatively, if the vehicle isn’t ready to be scrapped, Vauxhall will offer a minimum of £3,000 part-exchange allowance, plus the value of the car, towards a new Vauxhall.

On its website, Vauxhall claims the scrappage allowance is best suited to cars worth less than £1,000, while the part-ex offer is designed for cars worth upwards of £1,000.

Either way, please check that a collector or enthusiast isn’t interested in your ‘scrappage’ candidate before leaving it at a Vauxhall dealer. Price guides and trade valuations aren’t always 100 percent accurate when it comes to rare, interesting or in-demand vehicles. Use social media or specialist forums to find out what it could be worth to the right buyer.

Stephanie Howson, Vauxhall’s retail sales director said: “There really isn’t anything quite like driving off the forecourt in a brand new car for the first time, and thanks to our exciting Trade Up event, motorists will be able to share in that feeling.

“People often assume they can’t afford to buy a brand new car, but that’s simply not the case. We would like to encourage anyone considering upgrading their vehicle to visit their nearest Vauxhall retailer and take advantage of this fantastic offer.”

Get your money off Rocks

Vauxhall Viva Rocks available with scrappage discount

If you’re looking to spend the least amount on a new car, the Viva Rocks is the cheapest Vauxhall available with the scrappage discount. It’s essentially a Viva with raised ground clearance and crossover-like styling, with prices starting from £12,240.

With the scrappage allowance, it takes the price down to £8,240, which is less than an entry-level Dacia Sandero Stepway.

Alternatively, Crossland X prices start from £17,715, the Astra range kicks off at £18,905, the Mokka X from £20,645 and the Grandland X from £23,415.

Visit the Vauxhall website for full terms and conditions, but again, do think carefully before scrapping your current motor. Vauxhall’s “old wreck” might be another person’s valued vehicle…

Rare Opel Manta 400 is a bargain Group B rally hero

Most spell-checkers don’t recognise the word ‘homologation’, but most car enthusiasts surely do. Essentially, it’s the requirement to build a certain number of road cars in order to satisfy racing regulations. It’s also responsible for some of the most pulse-spiking machines ever to wear number plates.

Group B rallying, banned in 1986, produced its fair share of homologation specials. Audi Sport Quattro, MG Metro 6R4, Lancia Delta S4, Ford RS200 and Peugeot 205 T16… all are household names, and rightly so, but how many remember the Opel Manta 400? 

This particular Manta will soon be listed on Collecting Cars, a new online auction platform that aims to emulate the success of American website, Bring A Trailer. It’s backed by Top Gear presenter Chris Harris and already has a diverse selection of classics consigned for sale.

Here a few of the early highlights, starting with that Opel…

Opel Manta 400 (1983)

The Manta 400 uses the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder 16v Cosworth engine as the earlier Ascona 400. That car – the European version of the Vauxhall Cavalier – achieved some WRC success, piloted by the legendary Walter Röhrl. But the rear-driven Manta found itself immediately outclassed by four-wheel-drive rivals, including the all-conquering Quattro.

In road-going guise, the fuel-injected Manta makes a modest 144hp, although a dry weight of 1,128kg means acceleration is brisk. A live rear axle makes for frisky handling, too – despite the presence of a ZF limited-slip diff.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Opel Manta 400 (1983). One of 245 made for Group B homologation – and only 59 with those stretched Irmscher wheelarches. Up for sale soon via Collecting Cars.

A post shared by Tim Pitt (@timpitt100) on

A total of 245 Manta 400s were made, only 59 with the Irmscher bodykit seen here. Those steroidal wheelarches stretch over wider Ronal alloys, while a jutting spoiler sits atop the bootlid. The Recaro seats are equally eye-catching: trimmed in oh-so-70s ‘Opel Blitz’ cloth. 

Valuing such a rare car is tricky, so it will be fascinating to see what the Manta achieves at auction. We reckon about £60,000 looks likely – a relative bargain for a homologation hero.

Porsche 968 Club Sport (1994)

Porsche is masterful at charging more for less. You want no back seats, fewer luxuries and fabric door-pulls? It’ll cost ya… However, it wasn’t always this way. Back in the mid-nineties, the Club Sport was a hefty £5,000 cheaper than a standard 968.

At 1,335kg, it was at least 50kg lighter too. Factor in a 10mm suspension drop and a pair of fixed-back Recaros, and the result was B-road bliss. With only 1,923 built, the Club Sport has since become a sought-after cult classic.

The four-cylinder Porsche isn’t especially quick 0-60mph in 6.1sec and 158mph – but it’s beautifully balanced, the weighty steering alive with textured feedback. It’s less intimidating than a contemporary 911, but no less rewarding.

This 968 has covered just 41,000 miles and has been in storage for the past four years. Looking at comparable cars in the classifieds, we think about £40,000 sounds right. The registration ‘A968 POR’ is included in the sale.

Ferrari 550 Maranello (1999)

A V12 Ferrari with an open-gate manual gearbox? Where do we sign? Launched in 1996, the 550 Maranello channelled the spirit of the classic 365 GTB/4 Daytona, with a 485hp naturally aspirated V12 beneath its long, elegant bonnet.

The 550 morphed into the 575M from 2002. However, many Ferrari experts, including Ed Callow of Collecting Cars, reckon the 550 is  a sweeter drive. It’s not short on straight-line speed, either: 0-62mph takes 4.4sec and top speed is 199mph.

The 1,774kg Ferrari turns in with alacrity that belies its bulk. Its clutch demands a determined shove, and that thin metal wand needs careful guidance across the gate. Nonetheless, the reward for getting it right is like little else. Its V12 is simply sublime, piling on speed in a linear rush to the redline.

For our money – and you’ll need nigh-on £100,000 for a 24,000-mile example like this – the 550 suits darker colours such as the Blu Tour de France seen here, rather than trad-Ferrari Rosso Corsa. Just keep your grubby mitts off that cream leather.

In pictures:

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The Vauxhall Insignia is the fastest (selling) car in the UK

Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport

The Vauxhall Insignia and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are the fastest-selling cars in Britain, according to the automotive online marketplace, CarGurus.

The pair spend just 17 days on forecourts in Scotland before being sold, making them hot property north of the border. Indeed, Scotland appears to be a used car hotspot, with vehicles selling a full six days faster (that’s 25 days) than the nationwide average (31 days).

In contrast, a used car will remain on a forecourt for an average of 35 days in Wales, 34 days in East of England and 33 days in the South East and South West of England. The best performing region of England is the West Midlands, where used cars tend to sell in 29 days.

Vauxhall Zafira

Interestingly, a Vauxhall was the fastest-selling car in half of the regions listed, with the Insignia and Zafira proving to be popular amongst secondhand car buyers. The BMW 1 Series is the fastest-selling used car in London and Wales.

“When shopping for a car in Scotland, buyers should be aware that cars are selling more quickly than average for the UK, particularly the most popular used models,” said Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus.

“Doing research ahead of a visit to the forecourt should allow the consumer to make an informed decision more readily. When acting quickly, trust and transparency are key.”

Fastest-selling car by region

RegionFastest-selling modelAve. of days listed on CarGurus
1. ScotlandVauxhall Insignia and Mercedes-Benz A-Class17 days
2. North West EnglandVauxhall Zafira19 days
3. South West EnglandVauxhall Zafira20 days
4. South East EnglandVauxhall Zafira22 days
5. West MidlandsVolkswagen Polo and Ford Ka22 days
6. East MidlandsFord Mondeo and BMW 4 Series23 days
7. East of EnglandVauxhall Zafira23 days
8. Greater LondonBMW 1 Series23 days
9. North East EnglandVauxhall Insignia23 days
10. Yorkshire and the HumberSeat Ibiza and Mercedes-Benz A-Class25 days
11. Northern IrelandNissan Qashqai26 days
12. WalesBMW 1 Series29 days

PSA Group on a roll: Vauxhall in profit, Peugeot going to the USA

PSA Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall Profit

In the summer of last year it was reported, to the surprise of many, that Vauxhall/Opel was returning to profit under new PSA Peugeot/Citroen ownership.

This was a quick turnaround following PSA’s acquisition of the two marques from General Motors not two years previously. Final numbers indicate that Vauxhall/Opel’s profit margin was 4.7 percent in 2018.

Brexit confidence 

Peugeot, Citroen and DS, meanwhile, have doubled profits in the UK since the Brexit vote two years ago. Indeed, chairman Carlos Tavares isn’t worried about Brexit, saying “Vauxhall is warm to the hearts of UK consumers. Maybe we are the ones who have the best opportunity out of it”.

That doesn’t necessarily secure the safety of the Ellesmere Port plant, though. Tavares is no stranger to making difficult choices in the pursuit of progress: “If we have to make tough decisions, we will”. 

Going global

PSA Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall Profit

With revenue up 18.9 percent compared with 2017 (at more than £63 million), PSA Group is now looking to go global. Just two years after Opel was withdrawn from Russia, there are plans to return. This is part of a strategy to increase sales outside Europe by 50 percent, which also includes Citroen heading to India.

By far the most interesting facet of PSA’s future expansion, however, is the plan to reintroduce Peugeot to North America. We never thought we’d see the day where a Peugeot 508 vs.Toyota Camry twin-test was a possibility in Automobile magazine.

Overall, the group aims to launch 116 new models by 2021. A Core Energy Strategy will also see 50 percent of the Group’s offerings electrified by 2021, with 100 percent targeted for 2025.

Baby steps have already been made with the new 208, available with a 50kwh electric powerplant from launch. So too with the new Vauxhall Corsa later this year, which will be available with electric power.

Tavares’ success

PSA Peugeot Citroen Vauxhall Profit

This will be the fifth year in a row that Carlos Tavares has delivered impressive results for the Peugeot Citroen Group. What’s the secret to his success?

Agility is a word that keeps popping up, as a descriptor for the Group’s ability to adapt to new challenges. Tavares claims that “we will be continuing our Darwinian transformation and approaching each challenge as an opportunity to stand out against our competitors”.

Would you buy this British-built Vauxhall MPV for £40,000?

Vauxhall Vivaro Life £40,000 MPV

Vauxhall has unveiled a new MPV based on the Vivaro commercial vehicle called the Vivaro Life. There are two trim levels for it – the passenger-carrying Edition, and the Elite ‘luxury limousine’. Yes, the latter is a £40,000 Vauxhall Van…

That’s right, a £40,000 Vauxhall van…

Vauxhall Vivaro Life £40,000 MPV

That might sound a bit barmy, but there’s got to be something to the ‘luxury limousine’ description. Let’s break down the Vivaro Life Elite. Vauxhall describes it as a ‘well-appointed, go-anywhere family car or luxury limousine’. In the front, you get a head-up display and electrically adjustable heated and massage-equipped seats.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come along with a smart navigation system as part of the 7-inch touch screen in-car entertainment. As for those trickier parking manoeuvres, a 180-degree rear-view camera has you covered, as does blind spot monitoring.

Vauxhall Vivaro Life £40,000 MPV

There are five seats as standard, although you can get two individual seats in the back that can rotate for ‘conference seating’, or a third row for a total of eight seats. A table is also optional for a more opulent conference seat layout. Needless to say, the potential for luggage space dwarfs anything available in a normal car.

Sliding blinds and reclining seats mean passengers can settle down for a snooze overnight with, if they so choose, a nice view out at the night sky through the panoramic roof. Other distinctive inclusions on the Vivaro Life Elite include 17-inch diamond-cut alloys, xenon and LED lights and a split opening tailgate (have that, Range Rover) for ease of luggage loading.

Fully-electric version due in 2021

Vauxhall Vivaro Life £40,000 MPV

Being based on the EMP2 modular car platform as used by the Grandland X, the Vivaro should boast more car-like driving characteristics. While it’s initially to be offered as a diesel, an all-electric version is due in 2021. That will join the fully-electric Corsa we’ll be getting soon in Vauxhall’s EV lineup… 

The Brit-built MPV

Don’t worry, there are other versions. For the more conventional family that fancies a van-flavoured MPV, the £27,000 Vivaro Life Edition offers an intriguing alternative to conventional people carriers. Vauxhall still reckons it’s ‘built for business’ but this built-in-Luton up-to-nine-seater van could be a family favourite.

Vauxhall offers servicing and breakdown cover for £19 per month

Vauxhall service and breakdown

Adding to the list of things we can pay for monthly is Vauxhall, with its new car care package. It starts from a reasonable £19 a month.

The scheme includes three years’ servicing and roadside assistance cover, with the first MOT also thrown in. It builds upon the existing three-year warranty and one-year Vauxhall Assistance package when you buy any new Vauxhall.

The roadside assistance includes both home-start and recovery – good peace of mind for your first three years of motoring in your new car.

While the package costs £19 per month for petrol-powered cars, diesels are a little pricier, at £22 per month. Overall, you’ll end up paying £684 over three years with a petrol car, or £792 with a diesel. A one-off up-front payment for the total is available.

Given servicing is quoted on Vauxhall’s website as ‘£159 for interim or £259 for a main service’, you can expect to pay £567 just in servicing over three years. That means three years of breakdown and home-start, plus the car’s first MOT, costs you £117. Not too bad, by our reckoning.

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