JOE goes to… Latvia to check out the new Opel Adam Rocks 6 years ago

JOE goes to… Latvia to check out the new Opel Adam Rocks

JOE’s Oisin Collins was recently invited over to Riga in Latvia to test drive Opel’s new rugged 'mini-crossover' known as the Adam Rocks…

First things first… after driving on the roads of Riga for two days, I can safely say that I’ll never, and I mean NEVER, say a bad word about Irish roads again, ever...

In fairness, Opel was right to take us to Riga, which is a beautiful city apart from the dodgy roads, as it gave us a chance to really test out the new Adam Rocks in an urban setting that featured surprisingly rough terrain. Good thinking there Opel…

We’ve already seen the Adam Jam (which we reviewed here), Glam and Slam, but the new Adam Rocks (or ADAM ROCKS as it’s stylised by Opel) is designed to mix urban manoeuvrability with rugged off-road looks.

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Our press trip started off with an overnight stay in Frankfurt - due to logistical reasons - but we were soon landing in Riga where we began our test drive at the airport. Our first point of call was the Sapņu Fabrika, known in English as 'The Dream Factory,' which is a 100-year-old glass factory that has since been transformed into a modern club with an urban feel.

While the drive from the airport to The Dream Factory was short, it gave us a chance to test out the Adam Rocks on one of Riga’s many highways. As the car is small and nimble (only 3.75-meters long with a 1.0L 3-cylinder ECOTEC turbo engine) we were able to avoid the bigger potholes with ease and Adam Rocks simply glided over the rest of the smaller divots. The Adam Rocks also comes with a city-mode, which eases up the steering and makes daunting, tight, back-street corners an absolute breeze to navigate. Speaking of back-streets, it's clear that Latvians love their graffiti, as it's all over the place in Riga and it's pretty good too...

The Adam Rocks has been given distinctive body cladding and its ride-height has been increased by 15mm in order to give it an off-road SUV look but, practically speaking, it gives the car 14cm of ground clearance. That’s sure to come in handy for anyone that has to park on high-curbs or if you have to navigate dodgy country roads in order to get home. The extra ride height also gives you an added bit of confidence when driving over obstacles, which was something I experienced first-hand while driving over train tracks in Riga.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to drive the car on a few dusty Latvian back roads in order to really test out its 'off-road abilities', but we did have the chance to see the car in action on a beach in a place called Jūrmala. Needless to say, it looked like the Adam Rocks was well capable of driving around off-road.

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As well as testing out the new Adam Rocks, we also got to test out Opel’s new 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo petrol engine, which makes its debut in Ireland in the Adam Rocks. The new 3-cylinder 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo petrol engine is available in 95hp and 115hp (tested) versions. The Maximum speed of the new all-aluminium engine is 196 km and zero to 100km/h takes 11.9 for the 95hp version and 9.9 seconds for the faster 115hp engine. I was surprised with the responsiveness of the 1.0L 115hp ECOTEC engine and the environmentally-conscious amongst us will be glad to hear that it only emits 119g of CO2 per km and consumes 5.1L per 100km (combined).

So, apart from the new engine, higher ride-height and the canvas Swing Top roof – which is fantastic when the weather is good – what makes the Adam Rocks different to the rest of the Adam family? Well, for one, you get a few more customisation options with the Adam Rocks that you won’t get on the other models just yet. The customisation is just one of the many unique selling points of the Adam Rocks, but it's a pretty big one at that…

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The press trip to Riga was made up of Irish and French journalists and there were over 40 Opel Adam Rocks for us to choose from, each one featuring its own individual touch. No two cars were exactly the same and that gave us a good idea of just how much personal customisation can go into an Adam. If you’re an ‘individual’ then this is the car for you…

Here’s a look at some of the more important stats:

Price – Starting from €18,995
0-100kph – 9.9 seconds
Max Speed – 180 km/hour
CO2 – 119 g/km
Tax Band – A4 €200 p.a.

Arriving in Ireland in October, the Opel Adam Rocks will start at €18,995. For more, head over to the Opel Ireland website.

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