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New Opel KARL

Mittwoch, 10. Mai. 2017

First came the 'Adam', named after Opel's founder. Now the automaker has christened a car after Adam Opel's eldest son. The "Karl" is a completely new, as Opel's Carsten Aengenheyster explains.

Carsten Aengenheyster, Opel

He says they were given the job of designing a subcompact and began making sketches, freehand drawings.

For less than 10-thousand euros, buyers get a five-door model that's 3.68 meters in length, with room for five. The Karl, which will be marketed as the Vauxhall Viva in the UK, is a true city car. To help the vehicle fit into tiny parking spaces, overhangs have been kept to a minimum.

Stefan Arndt, Opel

Stefan Arndt says that's a challenge for the designers, but it's fun to work together with the engineers. They want the car to take up little space, so it must be small. But the interior should seem bigger than the car really is. That's not easy, but it's fun to work on the whole 'package'.

Opel's successful Corsa supermini has been on the road for 33 years.

In 2012, it was joined by the little Opel Adam.

The Karl is the latest addition to the club and is Opel's entry-level city car. But that doesn't mean they've cut corners.

So the Karl isn't inferior when it comes to infotainment either. And safety features like a Lane Departure Warning system and cruise control ((with a speed limiter)) are also available as extras.

The Karl is fitted with the one-liter, three-cylinder gas engine used in the Corsa and Adam. But, when it comes to design, the Karl goes its own way...

Unlike the two-door Adam, the Karl is a four-door. Creating 940 liters of trunk space was a challenge for the designers, given the car's small dimensions.

Stefan Arndt, Opel

Stefan Arndt notes that they might have to shorten the seats, or arrange things differently than they would in a larger car. Centre consoles or storage compartments might be closer together than they are in the Insignia or Astra. Yet it works. He's 1.76 meters tall and, with the right adjustments, can sit comfortably in the driver's seat or in the back.

The Karl has a manual, five-speed transmission. Our test car boasts the most expensive trim package and costs upwards of 13-thousand euros in Germany. Opel says that this little car also uses little fuel.