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Vauxhall has an awful lot riding on the Adam - but we think they might just pull it off.
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Vauxhall has gone down the mystery route, revealing as little information as possible about its new small car while, at the same time, tickling people's interest with specially-released teasers. The biggest teaser without a shadow of a doubt was announcing the car's name would be 'Adam' in early May.
The Adam's now ready, and will have the glare of the world's motoring media focused on it tomorrow. Not only will it be a defining moment for the car itself, but it may also be a defining moment for the company as a whole as it looks to become the number-one manufacturer in the UK's most popular segment.
Get it right and the Adam will edge the Pixo, 107 and other pretenders from buyers' hearts. It may also become a name as recognisable as the Fiesta and Golf over time, as it aims for a younger, tech-savvy market obsessed with personalisation and low prices.
Vauxhall had the sheer audacity to claim the Adam has more than a million different personalisation options in July. If true then consumers will be spoiled for choice when they consider one of its three trims. The Jam trim's been created especially for fashionistas, Glam is for the sophisticated driver and Slam is perfect for those with a sporty personality.
Entering the small city car market is a vehicle with technology usually only found on cars priced at the higher end of the market. An Advanced Park Assist II system is an entirely new feature on a Vauxhall, while its ultra-rigid passenger cell makes it one of the safest small cars around.
But who are we kidding... the younger market isn't interested in THAT kind of technology. What'll impress them most is the smartphone connectivity that functions with iOS and Android models. The state-of-the-art seven-inch, full-colour touch screen display. The LED-lit starlight roof trim, and more.
These aren't bells and whistles. They're features that Vauxhall feels the younger market craves, and will appreciate for years to come if they choose to invest in an Adam. 'Urban chic', Vauxhall calls it, with Vauxhall's vice president of design, Mark Adams, summing up the entire Adam philosophy in a single phrase.
"We are offering virtually unlimited exterior/interior colour, fabric and kit combination choices. It's very unlikely that you'll find two identical Adams out there."
The techy bits
The Vauxhall Adam will be available in the UK from January 2013, and will be available with Vauxhall's standard lifetime/100,000 mile warranty. The A-segment city car will come with a choice of three engines at launch: a 1.2-litre 70PS, plus two 1.4-litre engines with either 87PS or 100PS. All will be available with Start/Stop technology and a five-speed manual gearbox.
Written by John Meadowcroft