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It’s love at first sight, but jazzy Corsa lacks bite

TALK about being caught on the hop?

Yep, hook, line and sinker.

The culprit .... an uber cool Opel Corsa Limited Edition.

A quick recce before firing her up and it's impossible not to be impressed by the look and stance of this little hot hatch.

It's got ‘beastly' written all over it from the Flame Red paintwork, complimented by the Black Sapphire roof to the matching 17' inch twin spoke alloys. Respect.

The smoked out windows, darkened tail lights and chrome framed front fog lights all sitting on lowered suspension get me excited.

Inside the sporty OPC touches (Opel Performance Center) continued with leather multi-function steering wheel, bucket-style seats, aluminium pedals and a central console - finished in glossy piano black and body colour-coded surrounds on the air vents.

But the one thing that got my heart racing was the rev counter - the instrument which gives you a glimpse into the very soul of a car.


It offers a hint of just what she may be capable of while retaining the element of surprise. The clock on this baby didn't hit the red until 9,000rpm meaning a high ratio gearbox and fun aplenty.

My imagination is running wild and already I'm comparing her with the Mazda RX8 (the craziest car I've ever driven) and the SEAT Cupra R - the No 1 hot hatch of the year. Turn of the key and the absence of a ‘rasp' has me a little suspicious.

I drop the hammer ... nothing.

It's as lethargic as a spotty teenager on a Sunday morning - totally devoid of any urgency. OK, don't panic, it must be a powerband of sorts and the muscle doesn't kick in until around 3,000 revs.

It takes an eternity to get there, but fear not, we're primed and ready for the madness.

It doesn't come but what does is a cattle truck in the opposite direction and I haven't got the poke to make it.

Luckily the anchors are a lot more responsive than the 1.2 litre 85bhp powerplant and I narrowly avoid being splattered.

The acceleration is pitiful even for a city car and unless you have a clear road ahead overtaking should only be as a last resort.

Drive and handling is pretty much what you'd expect from a run-of-the-mill mini but it is well enough speced and it does come with ABS, Brake Assist, curtain airbags and Cruise Control (for erm, the speed conscious).

Being painfully slow does have a plus side as the Corsa is easy on the juice and just €156 a year to tax but the hefty price tag of €16,205 is just too much buck for too little bang.