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Are you jam, glam or slam?
Published 02/12/13



ADAM has a distinguished track record as a name from Biblical to modern times that have even included an Ant called Adam. (For the benefit of younger readers, he was a late Seventies pop star.)

There is no doubt that in its purest sense the name conjures up beginnings. But I wonder if this was what Vauxhall had in mind when it came up with the name ADAM for its new “mini-urban” city car.

There seems to be an insistence by carmakers these days that the name of the car rigidly appears in capital letters and this week’s drive is no exception.

Interestingly, while on the name, I understand that Vauxhall (or more likely the powers-that-be at General Motors) came up with the moniker ADAM because it wanted a completely fresh model. This indeed is part of its new product strategy.

All other Vauxhall models apparently have names ending with the letter “a” — Mokka, Ampera, Corsa and so on — so the carmaker wanted to produce a car with originality stamped all over it.


Has Vauxhall achieved this with ADAM? I think to a degree it has. There is no doubt that the test car oozed quality build, which is unusual in a so small a car yet is fast becoming a prerequisite. And with this ADAM I was treated to the GLAM model.

Vauxhall is careful to be inclusive with this car. While its press kit employs words to describe it as “funky” and with “urban chic” appeal, and pitches it heavily to appeal to young drivers, Peter Hope, Vauxhall’s marketing director, says “ADAM will attract young and young-at-heart customers from both genders”.

Older drivers might not be too keen on the names for trim levels — ADAM JAM (fashionable/colourful), ADAM GLAM (elegant/sophisticated) and ADAM SLAM (racy/sporty) — but Vauxhall seems confident these will appeal to a different generation.

In that sense, if you want ADAM to be loaded up with most of the techno goodies available, then so be it: Vauxhall says there are “over a million different specification and trim combinations” for this car.

The idea is that you get a bespoke version of ADAM to suit you. Sounds like a good idea and with a car whose highest price tops out at £14,000, ADAM could well prove a winner for Vauxhall.

As I said, my main impression was the good build values that have been employed with this car. It felt comfortable to be in, smooth to drive and in its element on town and city roads. Its size meant that it was easy to park.

If you were setting out to measure yourself up for an ADAM then after you decide on the trim level, you move into the world of “option packs” of which Vauxhall says the “possibilities are virtually endless”.

This includes a choice of 12 body colours, 15 seat designs, 20 alloy wheel styles, and 18 “interior décor panels”.

For those that like their technology to match their smart interiors, IntelliLink, the new on-board infotainment system exclusive to ADAM, integrates the owner’s smartphone (Android and Apple iOS) with the car, making internet-based applications available on a touch screen.

Other features include a new-generation Park Assist that automatically parks the car, a Side Blind Spot Alert — one of my old favourites but good to see being introduced on smaller cars — and a power steering system including a “light touch” CITY mode. This means being even niftier around town in ADAM.

ADAM is initially on the market with three efficient petrol engines —1.2-litre 70PS, 1.4-litre 87PS and 1.4-litre 100PS. There is a five-speed manual gearbox and this can be specified with an ecoFLEX technology pack for better efficiency.

The 1.4-litre units provide maximum torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm; the 100PS version accelerates from 0 to 60mph in just 11.5 seconds and top speed is 115mph.

And so in the 21st century, Vauxhall created ADAM — but will it thrive?

I think this car will provide serious competition for those other “funky” city slickers out there that, through new or retro means, have proved to be a popular buy among a new generation of car owners.

Standard features include

* Electric climate control

* Fixed glass roof panel with sliding blind

* CD player with USB facility and aux-in socket

* DMB digital radio

* Bluetooth connectivity

* Steering wheel mounted audio controls

* Leather-covered steering wheel

* Cruise control and trip computer

* Electronic Stability Programme-plus

• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

• Six airbags

• Chrome-effect upper side window mouldings

• Chrome-effect door sill covers

• LED daytime running lights and tail lights

* On-the-road Price: £12,975

AS British sports car maker Aston Martin’s centenary year draws towards its close the company is unveiling a collection of artworks created to celebrate and document its 100 years in business.

More than 150 Aston Martin owners, enthusiasts and advocates joined key figures from the London art world at the brand’s central London showcase, W-One, for the unveiling of the paintings created by the car maker’s centenary artist-in-residence, James Hart Dyke.

Following his recent work for the producers of the James Bond and his exhibition A Year With MI6, James was invited by Aston Martin to create the W-One series. He was given exclusive, behind-the-scenes access throughout the year and the resulting paintings are based on visits to the state-of-the-art Aston Martin factory and global headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, the Le Mans and Nürburgring 24-hour races and other centenary events.

The works, mainly oil on canvas, document among other things the drive of the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 by Sir Stirling Moss at the year’s N24, the début of the centenary-inspired concept car, the CC100, and the central London celebration of 100 years of Aston Martin that saw more than £1 billion-worth of rare and exotic Aston Martins displayed at Kensington Gardens in July.

By Nigel Wigmore

Published 02/12/13

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