BUY & TUNE: CORSA B GSi
Twenty-five years ago, the Corsa B GSi was released to great acclaim. Here’s what to look for if you’re tempted to buy one to call your own...
Our guide to sourcing and modifying a modern classic.
Launched in 1993, the Corsa GSi followed the Nova GTE (and later GSi models), a car which successfully forged a reputation for being competent, quick and affordable. The new arrival had a lot to live up to.
Whereas the Nova featured sharp, aggressive lines, the Corsa was softer, rounder and significantly more refined. It was, however, less well equipped, which goes some way towards explaining the lower purchase price; the Corsa GSi cost £10,970, a full £710 less than its predecessor. Crucially, the Corsa was significantly cheaper than similar offerings from rival manufacturers, including Renault, whose Clio 1.8 16V emptied wallets for close to £1,800 more than Vauxhall was asking for.
A What Car? road test from 1993 rated the Griffin-badged supermini as ‘four out of five’, citing midrange punch, good turn-in, respectable grip and an engaging driving experience as delivering more fun than any other Corsa on sale at the time. The car happily occupied its place in Vauxhall’s performance range, sitting below the Mk3 Astra GSi and Mk3 Cavalier SRi. Even so, despite its pleasing price point, the baby GSi sold in low numbers. Consequently, locating a surviving example for sale today is hard work. Factor in the effects of the dreaded tin worm, plus the likelihood of finding a Red Top in place of the GSi’s 1.6-litre lump, and you can see why an unmolested Corsa B GSi in good cosmetic condition is a car in high demand and one likely to fetch a pretty penny.
In this guide, we take a look at what you need to be aware of if seeking out a Corsa B GSi today. Choose carefully, and you’ll bag yourself a nippy Vauxhall that’s enormous fun, bursting with performance potential and likely to prove a shrewd investment.