Back to the Future the All New Vauxhall Viva

In Short Cuts by Neil Lyndon

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Short Cuts – When Vauxhall launch a new city car next year to rival VWs Up! and Kia’s Picanto, they are going to call it the Viva – a name they last used in the 1970s.

This may be a slightly premature move. There are still people alive today who will not have forgotten the small saloon from Vauxhall that last bore that name. Many will shudder at the memory of a body that rusted faster than a tin can and mechanicals primitive enough to see service in a rotovator.

The new Viva will, apparently, be priced at less than £7000 in its most basic form and will be made at the Korean plant GM picked up from the bankrupt Daewoo chaebol.

GM are juggling with names around this car. It would have been called a Chevrolet but GM have, at last, decided not to apply that once noble brand-name to its cheapest offerings in Europe so, even though it will be based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark, the new Viva will go under Vauxhall’s badge in the UK and Opel’s in Europe (where it will be given a moniker we don’t yet know).

Likely to be fitted with a three-cylinder, one-litre engine and designed by Mark Adams and GM’s European design team, the new Viva looks in early photographs quite a lot like Hyundai’s i10.

But it will need to be a whole world better than the last Vauxhall Viva to compete with that most excellent little car from Korea’s most spectacularly successful chaebol.

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