By Ronan Glon
Wednesday, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 11:15 am
 

General Motors' Opel division has unveiled a track-bound version of the Adam city car and outlined its long-anticipated return to racing.

Called simply Adam Cup, the car is aimed at aspiring pilots who are on a tight budget. It is reportedly powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 145 horsepower to the front set of wheels via a five-speed gearbox. Opel is keeping its lips sealed about performance figures but the track-bound Adam will be noticeably quicker than its regular-production sibling.

Visually, the Adam Cup gains a host of aerodynamic upgrades such as spoilers on both ends and an air diffuser integrated into the rear bumper. It sits much lower than a regular Adam thanks to a track-tuned suspension.

On the inside, the car is equipped with Sparco bucket seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and a full roll cage. The infotainment system and the door panels have been removed in order to keep the weight to a minimum, but the car retains its climate control unit and the stock instrument panel.

Opel's latest track car will carry a base price of €26,000 (roughly $33,000) when it goes on sale next year. A street-legal variant of the car that will be aimed squarely at the Fiat 500 Abarth will likely make its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Where to race?

The Adam Cup will spawn a single-model racing series called ADAC Opel Rally Cup that will debut in Germany in the coming months. Pilots will compete for cash prizes, special coaching from seasoned drivers and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn a spot in a professional international racing league. If the ADAC Opel Rally Cup is deemed successful, it will expanded outside of Germany.

To cater to drivers with a bigger wallet, Opel is also launching the Astra OPC Cup, a single-model endurance racing series that will be similar to the VLN Endurance Championship. Technical details about the track-going Astra have yet to be released.

The two new racing series are an effort to lure a younger audience into Opel showrooms.

"These new motorsports activities play an important role in the strategic re-alignment of the company; they are a fundamental element of our brand profile," said Dr. Thomas Sedran, Opel's Deputy CEO.