Vauxhall has made smartphone integration a top priority for its snazzy new microcar, the ADAM.
On sale next year, the ADAM looks reminiscent of the Audi A1 thanks to the two-tone colour scheme of its floating roof along with its and luxury pretensions. It will also be available in three trim levels, JAM, GLAM and SLAM. No, we're not making this up.
Less controversial is Vauxhall's focus on seamless smartphone integration for the ADAM. The harsh truth is that most Vauxhall products are painfully behind the curve when it comes to infotainment clobber. And that's simply not going to fly for a small car with premium aspirations.
The details are currently a little slim but include, "access to internet-based applications, including GPS navigation." Hopefully that will include IP traffic data. Vauxhall singles out iOS and Android as being fully supported. Notably, no mention is made of Windows Phone or Blackberry OS.
We also know that the new system uses a state-of-the-art seven-inch, full-colour touch screen display. As the first images prove, it's all nicely integrated into the ADAM's dash.
And the competition?
As for putting it into context with the competition, at the value end of the spectrum we have the VW Up and its Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii cousins. All three sport a plug-in Navigon-derived device that is great in theory (it's detachable and has a decent feature list) but comes up short in practice.
Alfa Romeo's Mito and the Fiat 500 both offer the Blue&Me system that's short on functionality but what it does (media playback and Bluetooth, mainly) it does very well.
Then there's The Audi A1 and its MMI kit. It's not quite as powerful as the MMI rigs in more upscale Audi's, but it's still a very mature and powerful system.
As for MINI's, er, MINI Connected platform, it beats the lot. But MINI doesn't currently offer a microcar, known as an 'A' segment car in car industry speak. So it's not directly comparable.
Microcar segment hotting up
Anywho, the ADAM certainly looks like an intriguing addition to the microcar sector. We're certainly pleased to see Vauxhall finally gets that smartphone integration. In fact, it confirms our prediction that 2012 will increasingly be the year that smartphone integration in cars hits critical mass.
The first ADAMs will land in the UK in January next year with a choice of three ultra-efficient petrol engines ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 litres and 70hp up to 100hp. ADAM also comes with Vauxhall's "Lifetime" warranty which gives the first owner cover for life up to a limit of 100,000 miles.