As city cars first and foremost, regular Adams aren’t designed to be road rockets, so the normally aspirated engines have modest outputs and performance data. All are 16-valve four-cylinder fuel-injected petrol units with variable valve timing (VVT), aside from the 1.0 EcoTec which is a three-cylinder engine.
A 69bhp 1.2i kicks off with a leisurely 0-62mph benchmark sprint of 14.9 seconds, although it can crack the ton at 102mph flat out. The 86bhp 1.4i improves those stats to 12.5 seconds and 110mph, while the more powerful 1.4i with 99bhp – only available in Slam models – records 11.5 seconds and 115mph.
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Hence why we’d fork out the extra for the 1.0 EcoTec wherever possible (it’s around £2,000 more than the 1.2 across all trims), which takes the Adam into sub-10 second territory for the 0-62mph sprint at 9.9 seconds and increases top speed to 121mph. But it’s not just pub-bragging numbers that makes the triple such a great engine. It revs with real zing, making extending it out to the 6500rpm limiter a pleasure, while it will happily pull fourth gear uphill from as little as 1400rpm without grumbling. It of course carries all the aural benefits of a three-pot compared to a four, too.
The 1.4 turbo in the Vauxhall Adam S (known, confusingly, as the Grand Slam for a brief period, before reverting back to the slightly more sensible S moniker) is a fine motor, elevating the Adam into warm hatch circles with 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 130mph.