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Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air

Adam, Vauxhall's stylish urban-chic city car, took the fashion-led A-sector by storm when it went on sale in 2013. Now the latest edition to the Vauxhall range, the Adam Rocks Air is set to extend the Adam family further.

Debuting at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Rocks Air has a bespoke body style, offering the same contemporary style as the original Adam but with the toughness of a crossover and the coolness of an electric folding canvas roof.

Being first to market means there is no direct competitor to Adam Rocks Air, giving this latest new Vauxhall the opportunity to grow the Adam range even further.

However elements of the Rocks Air can be seen in the MINI Paceman (as it also combines the qualities of both an SUV and a coupe) and the Fiat 500 Cabrio, with its folding roof.

Rocks Air shares the same postmodern target customer as Adam. These are stylish, trend-setters who are very image-conscious. Such individuals want a vehicle that expresses their personality and individuality.

This group is predominately under 35 and pre-family and is split 60:40 female to male. These young urbanites also influence other more mainstream buying groups outside of the auto sector.

A secondary Rocks Air target customer will be those with families looking for a second car with bags of style and personality.

Adam Rocks Air went from concept car to production readiness in just twelve months. It was developed at Vauxhall/Opel's International Technical Development Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany and, like the rest of the Adam family, is built in Eisenach, Germany.

The A-segment into which Adam Rocks Air slots is growing rapidly, seeing growth of 15 per cent between 2012 and 2013 and a further 10 per cent in the first half of 2014 versus the same period in 2013.

In its first year on sale in 2013, over 8,000 Adams were registered with the majority (7,526) to private buyers. Adam took a segment share of 5.65 per cent in the first half of 2014.

Over 100,000 Adams have been registered across Europe since its launch with other important markets including Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Keenly priced from £14,695, Rocks Air is available to order with first deliveries expected in September 2014.

"Adam Rocks Air combines the toughness of a crossover with the coolness of open air driving," said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall's Head of Carline Brand. "It's the perfect Adam for active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd."

Design

Compared with other members of the Adam family, Rocks Air is taller, wider and tougher in appearance, while also offering an electric folding canvas roof.

Adam Rocks Air's new crossover body style is supported by a chassis that is raised 15mm and has a wider stance. Agile parkour athletes, who move from one place to another, negotiating urban obstacles in between, were the inspiration for this sporty crossover.

Parts of the chassis have been modified or re-tuned - including dampers, springs, the rear suspension geometry and steering. The higher, wider looks are matched by a choice of standard 17-inch or optional 18-inch alloy wheels. These can be further personalised with new wheel clips in "Wild" design and different colours that are unique to Rocks Air.

Protective, anthracite-coloured cladding is wrapped tightly around the Adam Rocks Air, giving it a tough, muscular look. The front trapezoidal grille, with a chrome central brand bar, is embedded in the cladding, while contrasting, satin chrome 'boomerang' elements frame the front fog lamps/indicator housings and the reversing/fog lamps at the rear. An integrated rear roof spoiler and LED daytime running lights also come as standard. Silver skid plates front and rear and a bold chrome exhaust complete the exterior design.

Interior

Rocks Air's cabin has its own distinctive character. Two new, exclusive Rocks Air interior trims have been created. They include a main instrument cluster, seat and door panel colours and other trim elements - all unique to Rocks.

One trim is taken directly from the Adam Rocks Air concept car revealed last year: it has Brandy-coloured fabric/Morrocana seats and door panels, leather steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake in the same colour, and "Surf" décor trim.

The other trim features a sophisticated Coffee Bean design - rich dark brown seats in a black cabin trimmed with bright blue stitching.

Powertrain and Chassis

Adam Rocks Air is the first Vauxhall to feature the all-new 1.0-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo three-cylinder engine. This high-tech unit raises the bar for three-cylinder engine refinement and packs 115PS, with impressive low-end torque of 170Nm from just 1800rpm.

State-of-the-art technologies include high-pressure direct fuel injection, an ultra-compact turbocharging system, continuously variable valve timing (intake and exhaust sides) and a switchable water pump.

Lightweight, all-aluminium construction, with a cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold, contributes to low weight with the 1.0 ECOTEC tipping the scales at just 106kg.

Numerous 'sound engineering' measures also contribute to the engine's benchmark refinement. These include an acoustically-developed cylinder block; a sump-mounted balancer shaft - unique for a 1.0-litre three-cylinder production engine; structural isolation of the fuel injection system and crankshaft; drive chains with inverted teeth and engine covers designed for acoustic attenuation.

Fuel-saving Start/Stop technology is an integral part of the system and offered as standard.

New Transmission

The new three-cylinder engine is mated to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox with a compact package design.

Called M1X internally, the new gearbox is distinguished by its improved efficiency and benchmark shift quality. Vauxhall engineers have achieved greater operating efficiency through optimally stepped gear ratios, a longer final drive ratio and low friction design for internal components. Weighing less than 40kg, the M1X is one of the lightest gearboxes on the market. It is also robust. With an impressive maximum torque rating of 220Nm, it is thoroughly engineered for hard work.

Performance

The new 1.0-litre ECOTEC capacity belies its strong performance. Top speed is 121mph with 0-60mph reached in just 9.9 seconds. A strong mid-range, particularly between 50 to 70mph, illustrates an abundance of torque, meaning that drivers needn't rely on high revs to extract the most from the engine.

Despite the new 1.0-litre's performance, it achieves 55.4mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emission of 119g/km. The new three-cylinder unit already complies with future Euro 6 emission standards.

The new 1.0-litre ECOTEC engine tops a powertrain portfolio including two current four-cylinder naturally-aspirated units comprising a 1.4-litre with 87PS and a 1.2-litre with 70PS.

The 1.4-litre unit provides maximum torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm and accelerates from 0- 60mph in just 12.5 seconds and has a top speed of 109mph. The 1.4-litre engine achieves 53.3mpg combined with CO2 emission of 125g/km.

The 1.2-litre registers 57.6mpg combined and 115g/km. Top speed is 103mph with a 0-60mph in 14.9 seconds.

Both engines are mated to five-speed manual transmission and can be specified with an ecoFLEX technology pack that further enhances their efficiency.

Chassis

The Adam Rocks Air's suspension system, McPherson struts on a sub-frame up front and a torsion beam at rear, has been modified to suit a wider range of use. The car's off-road character is underlined by a 15mm increase in ride height compared into Adam wearing identical 17-inch wheels, giving this mini crossover SUV-like ground clearance of around 14cm.

Comfort

Adam Rocks Air is the only vehicle in its class to offer the comfort of a heated steering wheel, driver and front passenger seats. Even on the coldest of winter days, Vauxhall's new urban crossover can provide pleasant extra warmth within one minute of pressing a button.

Available as an £300 option, electronic climate control, using a patented control system, also maintains the desired cabin temperature in summer and winter by forecasting temperature developments.

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