During the last decade, Opel used to have not one, but two petite cars positioned below the Corsa supermini. Remember the budget-friendly Karl and the Mini-rivalling Adam? Both were around for only one generation and got axed in 2019. The Rüsselsheim brand is having another go at a sub-Corsa model, and this time around, it’s a lot smaller than those short-lived city cars.
Meet the Rocks-e, which is apparently the world's first SUM (Sustainable Urban Mobility). That said, this technically isn't a brand new car since a virtually identical version carrying the double chevron logo has been around for over a year. Yes, the Opel Rocks-e is essentially a rebadged Citroën Ami, meaning it's not a car per se, but rather a quadricycle based on the European Union classification.
It's specifically a light quadricycle, meaning its weight cannot surpass 425 kilograms (937 pounds) excluding the batteries. Speaking of which, it inherits the tiny 5.5-kWh pack from its French equivalent, giving it a maximum WLTP range of 47 miles (75 kilometres). Once you're out of juice, a full recharge takes about three and a half hours using a regular household socket and the supplied three-metre charging cable.
As it's the case with the Citroën Ami, the doors open in opposite directions and the Rocks-e has several interchangeable body parts. The diminutive two-seater EV gets Opel's Vizor front-end treatment, although it's not much different when compared to the donor car. It's the same story on the inside where aside from the logo change, the two pint-sized electric cars share the same cabin.
Measuring only 2.41 metres (95 inches) long, the minuscule Opel Rocks-e is powered by an electric motor producing just eight horsepower (six kilowatts) for a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). It can be legally driven in Europe from the age of 15 and is ideal for city use thanks to its 7.2-metre turning circle. The quadricycle rides on 14-inch wheels and despite being extremely small, it can still accommodate people over 1.9 metres tall.
It will initially go on sale this fall in Germany where customers will be able to order one online or purchase from select dealers. Additional European markets are set to follow in 2022. In its home market Deutschland, the little EV will be sold in base, Klub, and TeKno trim levels.
As a final note, some will remember Opel has used the "Rocks" moniker before, for rugged-looking versions of the defunct Karl and Adam.