Reuben van Niekerk
The Opel Adam Rocks is an attempt by the German brand to broaden the appeal of their funky urban runabout. But is it more hairspray and lycra than leather and tattoos wonders Reuben van Niekerk
In a marketplace with ever increasing segments one would think that there is a box for every kind of car on the market. But then something like the Adam Rocks comes along and breaks convention with characteristics of a mini- Cross Utility vehicle along with the freedom of open air driving.
The Adam Rocks expands on the Adam’s persona, with added details such as a swing top canvas roof, increased ride height, chunky cladding around the wheel arches and sills and front and rear skid plates.
The interior is fairly roomy given the compact exterior dimensions and there are plenty of cup holders, power outlets and USB inputs to go around while the Rocks features a high-end Infinity sound system, comprehensive infotainment system and the ability to customise the cabin to satisfy individual tastes.
Opel’s Intellilink system syncs with the users phone enabling the driver to listen to music, enable the driver to make use of Apps loaded to their phone and display relevant information on the screen.
The Adam has been a hit since it launched in South Africa almost a year ago, selling 120 units a month, it created a viable niche and the Rocks builds on that. General Motors predicts that this vehicle will appeal to young trendsetters who cherish their individuality and creativity.
What the Adam Rocks might do is create appeal amongst male drivers who were previously put off by the standard Adams overly cute styling.
The suspension has been redeveloped and raised by 15mm in order to increase driveability. However the Rocks is fitted with 18inch alloy wheels and the low profile tyres that go along with that mean that whatever comfort was gained by raising the suspension has been lost due to a harsh tyre choice, which became evident on some deteriorating Magaliesburg roads.
While I am not sure I would choose the Adam Rocks as a weapon of choice for an off-road adventure, the raised suspension makes sense for tackling urban obstacles such as speed bumps and the parking lot furniture that one encounters on a daily basis.
Opel’s three-cylinder one litre turbo Ecotec engine ensures more than enough forward thrust. With 85kW and 170Nm on tap the engine is said to consume just 5,0 litres/100km, but as I have found before that takes some careful driving especially in highly strung, small-capacity engines like this. A six-speed manual gearbox offers a wide spread of ratios which are necessary to keep the three-pot on the boil.
Passive safety equipment includes a full-house of six airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchorage, ESP Plus, EBS and EBD while this model also boasts features such as Advanced Park Assist which is generally only found on more expensive models.
The Adam has always been criticised for being expensive, as marketers expect trendsetters to cough up for anything chic. The Rocks takes this further with a price tag of R273 400, which is almost R40 000 more than the top of the range Adam Glam, quite a few pennies for raised suspension and a few accessories if you ask me.