Vauxhall will tackle the Abarth 500 and Mini Cooper S with a VXR version of its new Adam. A hot version of the city car is almost certain, according to company insiders, and it could be one of the most potent city cars on sale.
While an engine choice is yet to be finalised, the Adam’s diminutive size means a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine – like the 189bhp unit used in the Corsa VXR – is unlikely to fit. Instead, the Adam VXR is set to use a 1.4-litre turbo mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. ‘200bhp is probably too much for a car like this’ an insider told evo. ‘But anything up to 180bhp is possible – and it would be quite fun in a car this small’.
While the sub-100bhp Adams launched this month (our Vauxhall Adam review is here) feel capable of handling more power, the car’s suspension setup would need beefing up to take a considerably higher output. A Vauxhall Adam VXR would likely appear in 2014, but we could see a teaser concept as early as next year, perhaps at the Geneva motor show in March.
Until a more hardcore Adam launches, there’ll be an interim warm hatch, too. A pair of turbocharged, petrol-powered 1-litre three-cylinder engines will join the range next year, both with a six-speed manual transmission. One will be emissions and fuel economy biased, but the other will have performance in mind, and will better the 98bhp put out by the current 1.4-litre range-topper.