Many cars do seem to have what you might call a spiritual home. Ferrari will naturally be forever linked with Maranello, in much the same way as Dagenham immediately evokes the Ford name and in particular that of the Escort. It may be stretching the point ever so slightly, but for whatever reason, the image of the shiny and vibrant new Vauxhall ADAM, racing past the floodlit Eiffel Tower at its 2012 Paris Motor Show launch, sticks very vividly in our minds. Admittedly, this union of car and city hardly registers as a ripple by the iconic standards of the two examples presented above but there is undeniably something about the quirk and vivacity of this eye-catching little Vauxhall supermini that just seems to blend in nicely with Parisian chic.
Winding on two years from its global debut, the ADAM is again set to illuminate the city of lights. For the 2014 edition of the Paris Motor Show, Vauxhall are back to unveil the ultimate evolution of their popular little hatchback, the range-topping ADAM S.
Already previewed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the ADAM S ups the ante on both the design and power fronts.
The sportiest ADAM yet will be equipped with an upgraded 148bhp 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine, especially developed for the S project. This turbocharged, high performance powerplant delivers not only 50 per cent more power than the standard ADAM’s naturally aspirated equivalent but also, at 162lb/ft, gives a huge 70 per cent increase in torque. Combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, it propels the ADAM S from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and to a top speed of 124mph.
The racy enhancements don’t end there, as the ADAM S is also kitted out with several VXR-sourced performance goodies, including a specially-tuned chassis and sports braking system behind the 17 or optional 18-inch alloys.
Weight has been hewn in several underpinning areas of the ADAM S, including the addition of a cast iron block with hollow frame structure, hollow-cast camshafts and a plastic intake manifold. As well as enhancing performance, these tweaks also help to contribute towards the ADAM S’s sizable 44.1 combined mpg.
The S version will stand apart from its existing ADAM stable-mates on a visual level, with the addition of various aerodynamic features such as front and rear spoilers plus side sill moldings. The more brawny sports package is topped off with a bolder, brasher tailpipe and an extended rear bumper cut-out just beneath the LED tail lights.
Inside, Recaro Racing seats are one of several cabin options exclusively available for the S variant, whilst the steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake can also be customised in black and red leather.