Vauxhall plans to extend small car range

Vauxhall has announced plans to develop its small car range beyond the Adam, its new three-door hatchback model.

The car is on show at the Westfield shopping centre next to the Olympic Park at Stratford, East London, where Vauxhall has opened a temporary Adam shop, with various lines of car finance available.

Analysts at Vauxhall have forecast UK sales of 8,000 in 2013, rising to an average of 10,700 the following year.

Nine out of 10 Adam sales are expected to be to private customers, with women anticipated to make up 60% of the Adam's early adopters.

While the Luton-based firm has ruled out trying to compete with the extensive range offered by the likes of Mini, there has been open talk about automatic and higher-performance versions of the Adam.

In 2014 Vauxhall is set to release an 115bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo engine, similar to Ford's Ecoboost unit, for the Adam.

The firm is also set to unveil a new concept car, Adam Rocks, at the International Motor Show in Geneva Show next month which could offer clues towards the likely direction of a crossover or convertible.

However, a two-seater to rival the Mini Coupé and Roadster has been dismissed out of hand, while the firm will also not be producing a larger model like the Mini Countryman.

A diesel engine Adam is not feasible as they would be overly heavy and too expensive for their market, a Vauxhall spokesperson said.

The Adam's main competitors are the Fiat 500 and the Mini, with a price tag somewhere between the two.

The cheapest Adam is the base-trim model with a 1.2-litre engine point, which retails at £11,255, rising to £14,000 for the top-grade version with the more powerful of the two 1.4-litre power units.

Extensive customisation options mean there are any number of possible permutations, including 60,000 exteriors, 80,000 interiors, 15 different trims and 20 sets of wheels.

The Adam features a self-parking system, printed and illuminated roof liners, a revolving programme of exterior colour packs and smartphone connectivity.

The UK car giant is set to premier four new models at the Geneva Motor Show next month, including the the Cascada, a full-size, four-seat convertible, the Adam Rocks and R2 concept cars, and the super-efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine in the Zafira Tourer.

The Cascada should hit UK showrooms in April 2013, with prices from £23,995 on-the-road, Vauxhall said. 

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