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  • Blake Noble
    Blake Noble

    Spying: Opel Adam/Junior Spotted at the Nurburgring

    G. Blake Noble

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    April 28th, 2012

    To say that Opel has been eyeing the success of the Fiat 500 would be something of an understatement. In fact, it’s almost well known that the German automaker has been hard at work on a new model the last few years to compete with the small Italian city car. Now new spy photos have emerged of the upcoming small Opel lapping the Nurburgring as engineers put its sporting prowess to the test.

    During the course of its development, the new Opel city car has worn a few different names. The first two monikers were “Junior” — borrowed from an old Opel city car concept designed by Chris Bangle dating back to the 1980s — then “Allegra.” Now some rumors indicate that Opel may choose to name the car “Adam” in honor of company founder Adam Opel. Whatever Opel chooses to call it, the automaker has chosen to formally announce the car on Tuesday May 8th, 2012. A debut at the Paris Auto Show is likely.

    Beyond the curious issue of what they’ll name it, there isn’t too much more information out there about the Opel Junior Allegra Adam. It has been suggested that the Adam will measure in at 3.70 meters long (or roughly 144 inches), making it smaller than the Opel Agila but longer than the Volkswagen Up! by 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) and the Fiat 500 by around 10 centimeters (or about 4 inches). There isn’t much word on what will be under the hood, but it seems likely that a three-cylinder engine co-developed with SAIC could appear on the spec sheets.

    Pricing is rumored to start around 10,000€ (about $13,000 USD) when the small Opel goes on sale next spring.

    Sources: Opel, CarPix via Autoblog

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    Good luck to Opel for selling that car in Europe. Anything that small (especially the Fiat 500!) will not sell all that well here in the good old USA. Why do Mini Coopers sell here anyway?

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    You know, I don't exactly have high hopes that this "Opel Adam" will snatch Fiat 500 customers away by the truckload. I have a good feeling it could wind up being overlooked in the company portfolio because it may not have style and charisma to match the 500.

    Anything that small (especially the Fiat 500!) will not sell all that well here in the good old USA.

    Selling this car in North America is one of the last things on Opel's mind right now. Just for the record, about two years after Fiat originally put the 500 on sale in Europe they had already sold 500,000 of them. Opel's hoping they can recreate that success with the Junior/Allegra/Adam because that obviously means a big profit and Opel seriously needs all of the money it can get.

    Let me also note that sales of the 500 here in America increased in the first quarter of this year to a point where the 500's sales trailed the Mini Cooper by less than 2,000 cars.

    Why do Mini Coopers sell here anyway?

    I don't know. Maybe not everyone wants to drive a Toyota Yaris?

    Edited by black-knight
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    A thought just crossed my mind. If they're going to sell this as a Vauxhall then the Adam name wouldn't exactly make sense, would it? Maybe then Vauxhall will call their version "Eve".

    If Fiat is smart, they'll bring the diesel 500 over. That said, why a mini-Opel if Chevrolet is here in the EU to sell to the low end with the Spark?

    Agreed on the diesel 500. I'd say having one of the Multi-Air two-cylinders available for the 500 wouldn't hurt either, but it may not cope well with frequent interstate driving.

    If the rumors currently circulating about the 10,000€ starting price prove to be true, then it will certainly overlap with the Spark somewhat. It is interesting to note that Nick Reilly said last year that this car would probably have a starting price higher than that, though. Either the rumors are wrong or Opel so desperately wants this car to succeed they're willing to deliver a premium city car at a price that matches its corporate stablemate while undercutting its targeted competition. If the latter proves right, I won't honestly be suprised. Opel is betting a lot of the farm on this car.

    I think maybe the Adam will be a fun tiny 2-door car with style, unlike the Spork.

    For Opel's sake, it better.

    Future Baby Buick?

    Probably not this go 'round. Like I said, Opel isn't too concerned with selling the Junior/Adam in America.

    However, it is true that Buick and Opel's product portfolio will become more and more alike in the future. I'd say there's a good chance that the next-generation model could appear in Buick showrooms if the upcoming model is given a warm welcome on its home turf.

    Edited by black-knight
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    I think Buick is probably pushing enough smaller for now with the Astra, an even smaller Buick would probably be too small for the immediate future.

    Yeah, speaking of the Astra hatches to show up Stateside to compliment the Verano, I wonder what's the status on that? I don't think there haven't been any recent American Astra sightings lately or any new news about it. If Opel didn't intend for the new Astra to comply with US Federal regulations like they're choosing to do with the Junior/Adam, then they wouldn't have bothered to bring it here for testing in the first place.

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    500,000 Fiat 500s sold in Europe in two years?! Wow, no wonder Opel is desperate (or smart) to follow Fiat. I do hope they can pull that off, over there.

    BTW, does anyone know how many Mini Coopers and Fiat 500s sell here in the USA in 2011? 2012?

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    BTW, does anyone know how many Mini Coopers and Fiat 500s sell here in the USA in 2011? 2012?

    For 2011:

    28,067 Cooper/S Hardtop

    4,964 Cooper/S Convertible

    6,844 Cooper/S Clubman

    16,683 Crossover

    57,511 Total

    Too early to tell for the 500.

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