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2021 Vauxhall Corsa-e electric hatchback gets new Griffin trim level

The new Griffin trim level for the Corsa-e adds more standard equipment to the electric hatchback; it’s also the cheapest variant of the Corsa-e, with prices starting from £26,390 after the plug-in grant

new Vauxhall Corsa-e Griffin

Vauxhall has expanded the Corsa-e range by introducing a new, cheaper trim level that packs more standard equipment – however, it’s not the entry-level model. The new Griffin specification sits above the base SE Nav Premium version of the electric hatchback, but undercuts its price by nearly £1,000.

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Available to order now, the Corsa-e Griffin builds on the SE Nav Premium by adding some styling tweaks, 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel and front seats and a panoramic rear-view camera. There's also semi-autonomous driving systems like automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, road-sign recognition and driver drowsiness detection.

What doesn’t change is the powertrain: you get the same single electric motor powering the front wheels and producing 134bhp and 260Nm of torque. The standard 50kWh battery and 100kW maximum charging speed are also unchanged, with a claimed maximum range of 209 miles for the Corsa-e.

The Corsa-e Griffin has the same seven-inch central infotainment touchscreen and seven-inch digital driver’s display you’ll find in the SE Nav Premium and the more expensive SRi Nav Premium. Only top-of-the-range Elite Nav Premium cars come as standard with a 10-inch screen, although all models do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as standard.

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With the Corsa-e Griffin becoming the cheapest model in the range, prices for Vauxhall’s electric hatchback now start at £26,390 after the government’s £2,500 plug-in car grant (PiCG) has been deducted.

Vauxhall Corsa-e: range, charging and performance

The Vauxhall Corsa-e shares it underpinnings, including the battery and electric motor, with several other electric models including the Vauxhall Mokka-e, the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008, the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE and the Citroen e-C4.

The Corsa-e has a maximum range of 209 miles thanks to its 50kWh battery. But, like the other electric cars in the Stellantis family, the Corsa-e is capable of charging at speeds of up to 100kW with a suitable DC rapid charger. At that speed, you should be able to recharge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. If you choose to recharge from a regular 7.4kW home wallbox, it’ll top up the battery from flat in under eight hours.

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The Corsa-e’s electric motor generates 134bhp and 260Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph figure of 8.1 seconds. 0-31mph should take 3.1 seconds. As well as Eco mode, the Corsa-e gets Normal and Sport modes. The latter improves the performance and responsiveness of the car, with a range loss in the region of 10%.

Interior, prices and trim levels

Inside, you don’t get the ‘Pure Panel’ dashboard design of the Vauxhall Mokka-e or plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Grandland, but the Corsa-e still gets either a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen and seven-inch digital driver’s display (in SE Nav Premium, Griffin and SRi Nav Premium spec) or a 10-inch screen if you step up to the Elite Nav Premium. Both are angled towards the driver for easy use on the move.

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Sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included, plus there’s a voice-control function. LED headlights and alloy wheels feature, too. A smartphone can be used to unlock the Corsa-e, with vehicle data displayed in an app that also offers control of the timed charging parameters and cabin pre-heating or cooling.

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Other than the infotainment screens, you also get more kit as you move up the Corsa-e range. In the entry-level SE Nav Premium model (£27,460 after grant) you get 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors and lane keep assist. If you select the Griffin trim (£26,390 after grant), the Corsa-e comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel and front seats and a panoramic rear-view camera, as well as additional safety systems.

SRi Nav Premium cars also come with 17-inch alloys, as well as sports seats, sports pedals and sportier exterior styling. The Elite Nav Premium trim adds luxuries like the aforementioned 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, Matrix lighting, a panoramic rear-view camera and keyless entry. The SRi Nav Premium and Elite Nav Premium trim levels start at £28,390 and £30,745 respectively, after the £2,500 government grant is deducted.

Vauxhall Corsa-e VXR high-performance version planned

Vauxhall’s VXR badge, reserved for its fastest production cars, will return on a special-edition version of the Corsa-e at some point, with the VXR badge expected to make its first appearance on a sportier version of the Mokka-e compact SUV.

The CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, Michael Lohscheller, has said: “You can be sure that we will have some positive surprises in terms of having emotion as one brand pillar of Vauxhall. I think the electrification point is important; most people think electrification is for green reasons, for CO2, etc. It’s not only that – it’s also fun.

"I think that’s what we’re thinking of and how we might bring that to more people – but it’s just in the thinking at the moment. We’re thinking about how we can bring electrification to a new level in terms of sportiness. This emotional aspect of electrification is important, so it's not years away.”

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Welcome one and all, I’m Ellis the news reporter on Auto Express, the brand’s former online reviews editor and contributor to DrivingElectric. I’m proud to say I cut my teeth reporting and reviewing all things EV as the content editor on DrivingElectric. I joined the team while completing my master’s degree in automotive journalism at Coventry University and since then I’ve driven just about every electric car and hybrid I could get my hands on.

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