Opel Adam S for the racetrack with BILSTEIN B12 sports suspension
Project Hot Pea
When the Opel Adam was presented in 2012, Christin didn’t even have a driving licence. And yet she knew that one day she would own one. Four years later, the time had come: Christin fulfilled her dream and bought an Opel Adam “Glam” with 87 hp, which she affectionately called Pea. However, the joy was not to last two years. In a crash, “Pea” ended up as a total loss.
“But since my heart was still set on the Adam, I wanted another one, but maybe with a bit more power,” Christin reports. During a test drive, she fell in love with the 150 hp Opel Adam S. “After the first roundabout and the sprint out of the bend, it actually brought tears to my eyes, the car was just perfect for me.” Christin had found her “hot pea”!
“The workmanship is on an incredibly high level for a subcompact car and its handling resembles that of a go-kart, rather than a city car,” Christin explains enthusiastically. And yet the 23-year-old recognised potential for optimisation. Together with her boyfriend, she set to work.
The focus was less on show-and-shine measures and more on driving-dynamic and technically clean solutions. For example, in the area of the brakes: Because Christin can regularly be found on the race track with her Opel Adam S, the brake system was optimised. “The standard brake disc size of 308mm on the front axle is sufficient, but discs and pads got an upgrade. I also installed, among other things, steel flex brake hoses and ran ventilation hoses from the front of the car to the disc,” says Christin. The heavy 18-inch rims that were fitted at the factory also gave way to light 17-inch rims with 215/45R17 semislicks.
When it came to the suspension, Christin only knew one option. “My boyfriend had the BILSTEIN B12 in his Octavia II RS, and I was pretty excited about it because it was comfortable and sporty at the same time,” she reveals. “Since I don’t need a height-adjustable suspension, I decided on the B12.”
A decision she would make again at any time: “I am more than satisfied. The standard suspension was too poorly tuned for me, the dampers were too hard for the springs installed. Then I only had lowering springs installed, which were merely hard as a board and only a compromise. In my opinion, the B12 is perfectly tuned, so that both road and track are fun. It’s fast, but also takes bumps and curves well.”
On the race track, the tuned Opel Adam S is at home. Christin: “The Hockenheimring is practically on my doorstep, so I was drawn to it at some point. Since then, I’ve been going every now and then, and this year I was able to do it more regularly.”
“Here, too, the suspension works very well, especially in combination with the tyres – the car doesn’t pitch much under braking, doesn’t buckle very much in the corners and still has good reserves there. Thanks to the wedge shape, the rear has become even more agile, which allows it to turn in nicely in the corners with the right driving technique.”
So Christin is thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that she would never dream of giving up her “hot pea”. On the contrary: her declared goal is to get the German H registration for Oldtimers “someday”. In Germany, this is only granted to cars that were first registered 30 years ago. So Christin has plenty of time to spend with her dream car.