THE FIRST ever all-electric car from one of Britain's oldest car makers has been revealed - almost a year before it is expected to go on sale.
Vauxhall's eagerly-anticipated new Corsa-e will be a key player in the Luton-based company's plan to have an electrified version of every model in its range by 2024.
The new electric Corsa is expected to go on sale in Spring next year, several months after the launch of conventionally powered models of the latest Corsa. Vauxhall is now owned by the giant French PSA Group, and the latest Corsa shares its drivetrain and underpinnings with the new Peugeot 208.
Preliminary test figures released by Vauxhall credit the Corsa-e with a range of 205 miles, which is impressive enough, but even that can be extended by up to 40 per cent if the car is driven in Eco mode - one of three driving modes which can be selected, the others being Normal and Sport.
In Normal mode, the 50kWh battery allows a driving range of 205 miles according to preliminary WLTP tests while Sport mode alters responsiveness and delivers more performance, resulting in a loss in driving range of around 10 per cent.
With 136hp and 260Nm of torque from the electric propulsion system, the Corsa-e sprints from 0-31mph in just 2.8 seconds and reaches 62mph in 8.1 seconds.
There's a regenerative braking system to recover energy produced under braking or deceleration and drivers will be able to choose between two levels of regeneration. At the lower level, the Corsa-e's deceleration is similar to the engine-braking of a conventional car while at the higher level the drag torque of the electric motor under decelaration is much higher.
The Corsa-e is equipped as standard with an 11kW on-board charger and the battery, which will come with an eight-year guarantee, can be recharged from a wallbox or fast charger. It takes just 30 minutes to recharge to 80 per cent capacity at a rapid-charge station says the company.
While the new Corsa may owe much to its French cousin, the styling is uniquely Vauxhall and the electric model will differ little from conventionally-powered versions.
There are discreet 'e' badges on the rear pillars and the fact that the electric charging point is situated where the fuel filler would be means that the front face of the Corsa-e has a conventional-looking grille, unlike some battery-powered competitors.
The Corsa-e will come with a raft of the latest automotive technology including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance, blind spot alert, driver drowsiness alert and a choice of parking aids including automatic parking assistance and a panoramic rear view camera.
As standard there will be a 7-inch colour touchscreen for the infotainment system with a 10-inch screen on higher spec models with navigation.