Opel Karl (2015)

Opel Karl

Small but spacious, a dazzling appearance and above all entirely sensible - this is what buyers can expect from Opel's all-new entry-level model. Its name: simply Karl. The mini car, available from euro 9,500 (RRP including VAT in Germany), was designed from a white sheet of paper and celebrated its debut on the big stage at the Geneva Motor Show. For this attractive price, customers can expect a 3.68-meter long, 1.48-meter high appealing five-door car with space for up to five people and numerous safety and comfort technologies that are unrivalled in its segment. Karl will also be available with the latest in automotive connectivity soon. From fall 2015, it will be possible to order it with both the new generation IntelliLink infotainment system and Opel OnStar - the personal connectivity and service assistant - which together make Karl the best connected and the most caring car in the segment. Under its hood, Opel's new entry-level model has a tailor-made, completely new, one-liter, naturally-aspirated three-cylinder gasoline engine with fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels that can be as low as 4.3 liters per 100 kilometer and 99 grams per kilometer in the combined cycle respectively. From the summer of 2015, Opel Karl, the sensible entry-level model, Adam, the individualization champion and Corsa, the well-known all-rounder, will give Opel its strongest mini and small car portfolio ever - and the youngest on the market. They leave nothing to be desired.

"Short, crisp and full of character - the name Karl reflects its strengths," explained Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. "It is a grown-up car and will appeal to heart and intellect. Karl offers typical Opel quality and virtues starting with the high-tech, quiet one-liter, three-cylinder engine and by no means ends with numerous safety and comfort features that are unique in this segment. The Opel Karl is the ideal car for price-conscious customers looking to combine everyday suitability with comfort and modern technologies."

Opel Karl was also developed with functionality and versatility in mind. Sitting on a 2.385 mm-long wheelbase and tipping the scales at 939 kg, its five-door body offers plenty of room for up to five people. The driver seat and the steering column are height-adjustable (both as from Enjoy) and two ISOFIX child seats fitted in the rear. The asymmetrical (40:60) split foldable rear seat back (optional with Enjoy, standard with Cosmo) enables amply flexible loading space: With the rear seat backs folded down, Karl offers 1,013 liters of stowage up to its roof. The lightweight Karl also features Opel-engineered, best in class ride and handling. The front suspension has side-load compensation springs, double bonded ride bushings and a high structural stiffness to improve handling performance and minimize NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Additional ride-improving measures have been implemented for the rear suspension. The V-section tubular type torsion beam is mounted in front of the rear wheels allowing the roll-rate and roll-steer characteristics to be perfectly aligned with engine power and vehicle weight. Furthermore, rear shocks are vertically mounted behind the rear wheels to provide a good shock leverage ratio and efficient damping performance and the vertical dual-path mount provides better ride and NVH performance. The tailored steering also adds to the impressive ride and handling - no matter whether in standard or City mode.

Efficient: New 1.0 ECOTEC three-cylinder engine

This comfortable and nifty package is propelled by the latest generation in Opel powertrain technology. The new 1.0 ECOTEC with 55 kW/75 hp, an ultra-modern one-liter, all-aluminum, three-cylinder gasoline engine from the same family as the highly praised 1.0 liter turbocharged engine available for Corsa and Adam impresses with outstanding running smoothness and efficiency. The engineers paid close attention to reducing vibrations during the development phase with a low-resonance construction for the block, a split oil pan, the noise protected integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head and a sound absorbing cam cover all contributing to the engines excellent manners. Karl is therefore exceptionally quiet and refined for a car of this segment and price category.

When equipped with the optional ecoFlex package, consisting of an aerodynamically optimized front spoiler lip and roof spoiler as well as low-rolling resistance tires, Karl only consumes 4.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers and emits just 99 g/km CO2. Drivers can regulate the power perfectly via the modern, soft five-speed transmission, ensuring that Opel's new entry-level model ticks all of the relevant boxes in the extremely competitive mini-car segment.

Technologies and features that melt mini-car owners' hearts

Elsewhere, Opel Karl is fitted with numerous safety and comfort features that customers do not expect in this price category. Apart from standard ABS, traction control TCPlus, stability control ESPPlus and the Hill Start Assist, which prevents the car from rolling back or forth when starting on a slope, Karl can be equipped with a further safety feature highlight in the Lane Departure Warning. By means of front camera sensors, which scan the road, it alerts drivers with an acoustic signal and a blinking yellow icon on the instrument panel when they unintentionally stray out of their lane. A cornering light function integrated in the fog lights ensures that turning maneuvers are safer for the driver and other road users. The standard safety equipment also comprises no less than six airbags and a pedal release system.

On the comfort side, Karl has good manners as well. Taking care of its driver in cold days, it optionally features a heated leather steering wheel along with heated front seats that ensure cozy warmth in the winter. The City mode (standard from Enjoy) of the standard speed-dependent power steering reduces steering effort and facilitates tight maneuvers at the push of a button as already implemented for the Adam and Corsa. Elsewhere, Park Assist prevents unwanted bumps when parking by issuing an acoustic warning from approaching obstacles when reversing. Cruise control with speed limiter ensures driving at legal speeds, which is extremely helpful in complicated urban traffic or in residential areas with a 30 km/h speed limit. In addition, summer days are made even more enjoyable by the optional electric sunroof.

Lifesaving and entertaining connectivity unrivaled in the segment

As early as this fall, it will be possible to order Karl with a new generation, super-connected IntelliLink infotainment system and the Opel OnStar connected service. With these, Opel's new entry-level model will set new standards for connectivity in the mini-car segment.

Opel OnStar will offer subscribers a wide array of services. If, for example, an airbag deploys, Opel OnStar's center will be alerted automatically. An advisor will then contact the vehicle to determine whether help is required and, if there is no answer, emergency responders will be immediately sent to the exact location of the vehicle. However, this is just one of the services and functionalities offered by Opel OnStar. The driver and the passengers can call on OnStar 24/7 and 365 days a year for roadside assistance and other remote connection services, knowing that they will be connected to an advisor who speaks their language. Furthermore, Opel OnStar will provide Karl with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, capable of connecting up to seven devices.

In its Cosmo trim level, Karl already includes the R300 BT radio, Aux-in and USB ports as well as Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming. It can be combined with DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting), substantially increasing program choice and sound quality. Also orderable as of this fall, the new generation IntelliLink system will empower Karl users to bring the connected world of smartphones and several apps into the cabin using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay give Karl owners a smart and simple way to access select smartphone features through the IntelliLink infotainment system. These features include navigation, hands-free text messaging, access to contact lists, and entertainment apps for news or music. Many features can be controlled via commands through a steering wheel button, meaning drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The IntelliLink home page gives access to five major functions: make phone calls (Phone), listen to music (Audio), look at photos and videos (Gallery), change settings such as the language of the system for instance (Settings) or use phone integration.

Sharp lines with character

Opel Karl's design makes it a mature and characterful mini car. Its fascia displays a playful friendly but witty attitude. It features a wide and low proportioned single trapezoid grill with the brand bar that has been designed to cradle the Opel logo. The brand bar is lean and includes 'winglets' that link the eye to the intriguing eagle-eye shaped headlamps embracing the front grill. The signature 'blade' body side, dynamically sweeping upwards, is indicated on the doors and reflects Opel's sculptured, precise design philosophy. The two sharp lines running through the door handles emphasize the dynamic high-quality character. Large headlights and taillights add to the vibrant appearance, creating an overall design that shows exceptional attention to detail for a vehicle in this class. Karl is available in ten different colors ranging from 'Mystic Violet' to 'Fresh Green Lime'. Furthermore, various designs are available for rims of 14 to 16 inches.

On the inside, Karl offers a roomy interior and driver-focused cockpit providing the driver and passenger with a feeling of space, quality and love for detail previously only known from cars from higher segments. Clever storage possibilities such as the additional storage are above the regular glove box or the enlarged front door pockets that can hold a standard one-liter PET bottle reinforce the efficient utilization of interior space. Karl all offers full rear windows that can be rolled down - another rarity in this price category.

Comprehensive package

With its typical Opel design, lively and well-tempered engine, almost countless safety features and technologies along with the standard-setting connectivity and infotainment technology Karl shows that it is a fully-fledged member of the Opel family and that it offers a sensible and convincing package for a price of euro 9,500.