150 hp in a minicar sounds tempting to the ears at first. Opel ADAM S with rear wing sounds, let’s call it interesting. Carbon package and Recaro bucket seats, that sounds really good. And yet it feels like the Opel ADAM S has given away a little potential. More about this here in the driving report.
The male ADAM Rocks didn’t really work, so it was a good decision on the part of the Rüsselsheimers to go one step further. The testosterone-controlled spearhead is said to be the little ADAM with 150 hp. The power comes from a well-known engine. It also drives the Opel Corsa. A four-cylinder Ecotec with 1.4 liter displacement. In principle, it starts exactly where the competition is up to mischief in the form of the 500 Abarth. The Italians are tickling 140 to 190 hp from the small turbo unit in the currently most extreme level – room for improvement for Rüsselsheim?
The data sheet of the Opel reads vividly, clearly and also a little promising. A “performance sports suspension” can be found there or the “OPC brake system” in 16-inch size at the front and with 15-inch discs at the rear. The ESP can be deactivated completely. The 225 mm wide rubbers on 18 inch rims ensure sufficient grip. The Italian is just tough and uncompromising, but not as “broad-based” as the Opel.
When it comes to chassis, the name bearers of the Opel founder have never been soft and the combination of OPC influence and 18 inch make the ADAM S an extension of the spine. You definitely can’t complain that you “missed” any influence. Well-known bumps, whose “road damage sign” otherwise only triggers a tired laugh, become completely new experiences.
The torque of 220 Nm (applied at 2,750 to 4,500 rpm) goes well with the front axle, there is hardly any stamping, rather the wheels spin when accelerating out of the corners. The understeer is really limited. The ADAM S doesn’t need a lock on the front axle – or the nonsense of braking interventions on the inside wheel. However, he will only be a small highway robber when the ESP is switched off. When activated, the electronics intervene very early and even regulate the engine management so that less power reaches the bike at all.
Aisles one, two, three and four are closely spaced. They are also positioned close to one another, for fifth and sixth gear you hang the passenger on the lap with a slight suggestion. The first four are exactly what you need for fun in the ADAM S. When the 100 km / h mark is exceeded, there is a shift from three to four. You can tell that there is always the right gear for the country road to keep the engine speed in the creamy range of 5,000 to 5,500 rpm. You could also turn the 1.4 Turbo higher, but then it simply runs out of breath and nothing really happens anymore.
The 1.4 Turbo is something like the “good mood killer” in the ADAM S. Rather, it seems designed to compulsively achieve the 5.9l / 100km standard consumption than to be a real joker in a small pocket rocket. No “Tschpfff”, no sudden turbo kick. The four-cylinder in the minicar looks very linear, even a little boring. As if you had just taken the engine from a larger model, in which this engine is a completely normal drive, and put it in a smaller car. This formula actually always works. Still, the emotions don’t want to boil up. In small, tight, angled curves, it is a pleasure. But if the curve is more open than 80 ° then the four-cylinder somehow runs out of air. He then struggles his way up from 4,500 rpm to about a thousand revolutions. You could change gear earlier, but then you fall into a hole somewhere in the middle of the rev range.
One point bothered me. The “sporty calibrated steering”: who calibrated it and according to which standard? The city mode system is known from the Opel ADAM. Press the button and the steering becomes smooth. There is no such button in the ADAM S and the steering automatically changes its assistance. At slow speeds it is very easy to move, at higher speeds it is rather stiff. But sometimes the line blurs and the steering becomes easy again in fast corners.
I felt fast in the 500 Abarth, but it wasn’t. In the ADAM S I was fast, but I didn’t feel anything. Even if it is more expensive and I think that the individual components won’t last as long as in the Opel ADAM S, I would still go for the crazy Abarth. It arouses emotions, it pops, cracks and is somehow a bit cute. The ADAM S is somehow just an ADAM with more power. Regardless, the Recaro seats are top notch. Perhaps there is still room for another ADAM in the portfolio, a version that the OPC team can let off steam.
Opel ADAM S.
Inline four cylinder (transverse) 1,364 cm³ (turbocharger) 150 hp at 4,900 – 5,500 rpm 220 Nm at 2,750 – 4,500 rpm 8.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h VMax 210 km / h Combined consumption 5.9 l / 100km (CO2: 139 g / km) Test consumption 7.5 l / 100km Basic model price 18,690.00 euros Test car price 21,480.00 euros
Text / Photos: Fabian Meßner