Vauxhall Adam Finally Gets The Engine It Deserves With New Turbo Triple

Vauxhall Adam yellow side

It's fair to say carwow has been thoroughly underwhelmed with the Vauxhall Adam up until now, and the wider press is hardly any more complimentary.

We found it rather superficial in our first drive, and no more than a cynical cash-in on our full review. Right at the top of the list of our dislikes though is the Adam's choice of engines - the 1.2 and 1.4 petrols are breathless, uninteresting and completely at odds with the Adam's carefree image.

Vauxhall promised that this would change when a new turbocharged three-cylinder unit arrived, and now it has - so what do we have to look forward to?

If it's as good as similar units from Vauxhall's rivals, the answer is "plenty".

Vauxhall's new lump is one litre in capacity and consists of three cylinders and twelve valves. There's a turbocharger, helping it develop 115 PS at the top end and 122 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 to 4,700 rpm. That's better than Vauxhall's 1.6-litre units, and hugely better than the Adam's existing 1.2 and 1.4 wheezers.

Vauxhall Adam 3-cylinder turbo engine

Better still, it's 30 percent lighter than the existing 1.6 and features a new six-speed manual transmission, also 30 percent lighter than current gearboxes. Refinement shouldn't be an issue either:

We tackled at source the balance, noise and vibration issues typical of conventional three-cylinder engines, and were confident customers will be pleasantly surprised by the results said Dr. Matthias Alt, Vauxhall's chief engineer for small petrol engines.

No official fuel economy figures have been announced, but Vauxhall gives two clues as to the engine's potential. One, the 1.0 turbo is 20 percent more efficient than the 1.6 in an Astra-sized car.

Two, CO2 emissions should be significantly lower than 100 g/km. Since CO2 is directly proportional to fuel efficiency, we know that a sub-100 g/km car should get more than 65.5 mpg on the European combined cycle. The best an Adam can manage right now is 56.5 mpg and CO2 of 118 g/km.

Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: Next year

Vauxhall Adam dials


A new engine won't fix all of the Adam's faults, but at least the daft name, contrived styling and poor ride should be easier to overlook with a thrummy little turbocharged engine to play with.

Thus, if you're looking at buying an Adam now, we'd say wait - the new turbo unit should be comfortably the car's best asset.

For more information check out our full summary of the Vauxhall Adam alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos!

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