When Opel's new ADAM range came to SA it was clear the brand was serious about kicking ass. The funky new range offered up some great variety for the fashion conscious youth who were the intended target market, and it's clearly worked thanks to ADAM outselling it's segment competitors in 2015 with over 1200 units sold to date, and there's still well over a month to go. I first saw the ADAM at a Lisof fashion show in December last year. I'd seen a lot about the ADAM online and when I got wind of the launch on Twitter I used my charasmatic charm (I begged) to secure a ticket only to arrive at the venue and realise it wasn't a launch but a collaboration between a fashion house and Opel SA. It was a huge event that was full of people who'd seriously consider buying an ADAM, a sort of fashion meets automotive fashion affair, it was brilliant.
There are a few different models in the range with more personalisation options than any other car on the market today which means the possibilities are endless when it comes to making an ADAM unique to your taste. There was still something missing though, like a slightly raised, slightly beefier version for the outdoorsy types - enter the ADAM Rocks.
To announce the arrival of the Rocks in SA, the Opel crew put a really cool launch event together and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. The day kicked off with some coffee and a light breakfast at Steamworks Gastropub in Fourways, a venue almost as funky as the car itself. This was also my first sighting of the car and initial impressions, well, rocked. After a cappuccino and catching up with my fellow presstitutes (™ Martin P) we had the briefing on how Opel and the ADAM range are doing in SA followed by a briefing on the day's activities.
The first thing on the list was to get on a short shuttle through to Play at Height for a quick session of terrifying journalists. Well for me the thought of a bungee jump is terrifying, I'm short for a reason. Luckily I have the excuse of a super dodgy right ankle that really is a valid excuse to sit out of activities like this. Journos had the choice of a bungee jump or to abseil from the Play at Height Skybar. I stayed groundbound to get a few shots of some of the guys bouncing around on an elastic band. This was a a bit of a mission shooting directly into the sun though. I then decided to go to the top of the venue for some overall pics but as I was getting in the lift it was time to go. Saved by the bell... There was a VIP guest parked at the bungee venue, an ADAM S, the sporty big brother of the range that's hopefully coming to SA soon too. It's a brilliant little car and features the 110kW, 220Nm Ecotec motor. It's gonna be a hoot!
We had a short driver's briefing after the non-alcoholic cocktails and the scare session and we paired up to drive the new Opel ADAM Rocks through to the next venue, Roots Restaurant at Forum Homini in the Cradle of Humankind. Drive time is always a fun time at launches... We had a great route to follow, we drove on some really cool backroads through the North's agricultural lands and said roads were surprisingly good. For the few sections on the roads that weren't too great, the Adam Rocks and it's new ruggedness made things smooth. The ADAM Rocks is a good -looking thing, I know this because we were pulled off in a roadblock and the only reason was because the cop had seen some of the convoy and wanted a bit of a closer look. At the driver change point we spotted a few supercars on a run of their own, it was funny to see the journos checking out the supercars and the supercar owners checking out the ADAM Rocks convoy. After another decent stretch of tarmac we arrived at Forum Homini for some good food, good conversation and great entertainment from the hugely inappropriate and very funny comedienne , Angel Campey. I really have to catch one of her full shows, and soon too!
Back to the Opel ADAM Rocks... What makes it different to the others in the range? Luckily not too much because the recipe is already a very good one that doesn't need too much fiddling. It shares most of the features of the Opel ADAM Glam which are already impressive in a car in this segment. On the safety side there's ABS, EBD and ESP Plus and for the lil ones there's Isofix mounting points for a mini race seat. While driving, the ADAM Rocks employs much-needed features for staying safe on our roads; SBSA (Side Blind Spot Alert) along with rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, hill start assist, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a tyre pressure monitoring system and APA2 (Advanced Park Assist). There's also a brand new, unique in class feature in the ADAM Rocks - Siri Eyes Free. This feature integrates the Intellilink system with new generation iPhones and iPads via a USB cable and it activates Apple’s voice control so that you can ask Siri about the facts of life.
You have to agree, the Opel ADAM Rocks is a looker, the exterior changes are immediately noticable compared to its ADAM brethren as seen above. Oh, and it's not my dirty lens that took the above shot, just so you know. The Opel ADAM Rocks is, as the release says, aimed at Affluent Urban Adventurers which means it's gotta be a little beefier and more hardy than the rest. This is where the protective cladding around the bodywork comes in on the wheel arches, sills, and the front and rear skid plates. It's there to help prevent annoying little scratches and dings from driving on sand roads. The body has also been raised ever so slightly, just 15mm, but it counts on rough roads. The 18-inch wheels are fitted as standard and come wrapped in 225/35R18 rubber which makes for great on-tar handling and traction.
The biggest change to the exterior of the ADAM Rocks isn't the three cool colours available that have funky names to match the rest of the range (Red ‘n Roll, Saturday White Fever and Goldbuster) but instead the really cool swing top canvas roof. As we got into the cars we had a good look at it and how easy it is to operate, but for the rest of the drive it had to stay closed. Temps in the mid 30s with no cloud cover would have meant a wee bit of a burn, but a cool summer's nigh demands the roof stays open.
The ADAM Glam-based interior is as funky as the exterior. The dash has a different pattern on it with a lil bit of texture and the steering wheel is a nice fat piece of kit complete with the multi-function controls and the pedals are bare metal with rubber traction studs. The gearknob looks like something you'd find in an OPC, it's pretty sweet. The rest of the controls and Opel's Intellilink screen is the same as the rest of the range. The difference in the system is the upgraded sound, it's a complete Infinity setup including a stealth subwoofer and it bangs pretty damn well. The seats in the Opel ADAM Rocks are more along the lines of seats found in a sports model and they're finished in a leather and material combo, they're great. All in all a nice place to be, just check the pics (ignore the grass on the floor, again, not my pic).
The Opel ADAM Rocks is powered by Opel’s 3-cylinder, one-litre turbo Ecotec engine that makes 85kW and 170Nm. In a car of this size it makes for great performance, especially coupled to the 6-speed gearbox. If you've never driven an Opel with this powerplant you have to make a plan, it's a cracking little engine. When driven nicely it uses just 5-litres/100km, but it's well worth the higher fuel bill to keep it in the 10-litres/100km range. So much fun.
Now the catch... There will only be 150 of these brought into SA, making the Opel ADAM Rocks a limited edition that will no-doubt be sought after by the young and trendy crowd. In fact, with the way the ADAM range is selling, these will go pretty quick I'm sure. The Opel ADAM Rocks comes with a standard 5-year/ 120 000km warranty, roadside assistance, and a 3-year/ 60 000km service plan. All this can be yours for R273 400.00.
A huge thanks goes out to Lunga and the Opel SA crew for having me on their launch - it's always a privilige and a good time too!