Opel/Vauxhall will launch the new Astra OPC at the next Geneva International Motor Show (March 8-18), but one of the very first definitive models of this new sporty variation of Opel’s hatchback was on display as a ’surprise guest’ at a recent event in Palma de Maiorca, Spain, which had been organized to promote the ‘regular’ Astra GTC. Opel had already released a few official pictures of this car before, but these are the first ‘live’ pics of a model that will be officially unveiled in Switzerland in a few months and will enter the market in Summer 2012. The Astra OPC is actually based on the GTC, but it is pushed by a powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection unit delivering an impressive 280 hp and 400 Nm of maximum torque.
Aesthetically, the OPC can be recognized by the specifically designed front bumper, side skirts, rear spoiler and the trapezoid-shaped exhaust tips. In the cabin there are new sports seats, exclusive OPC steering wheel and a re-designed instrument cluster. Probably more interesting is the a specially developed mechanical limited-slip differential, that will help the driver to handle all that power.
Astra OPC’s standard equipment include ventilated discs braking system by Brembo, specifically adjusted HiPerStrut suspension and the fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system, that lets drivers sharpen the characteristic shock absorber line, the steering and also the gas pedal responsiveness by simply touching “Sport” and “OPC” buttons. However, the only performance figure officially confirmed so far is its top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph). The Astra OPC will be marketed in the UK as Vauxhall Astra VXR.
Photos | Charlie Magee
Opel has released images and technical details of the new Astra OPC, a version based on the GTC model and powered by a turbocharged 2.0 direct injection petrol engine. Engineers from Opel Performance Center provided the car with 280 hp and 400 Nm of maximum torque, giving it 250 km/h of top speed. No Astra ever went that fast before. In order to handle all that power, this version of the German compact car is equipped with HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front-wheel suspension, FlexRide active chassis, Brembo braking system and limited slip differential.
The FlexRide active chassis allows the driver to adjust the shock absorber line, the steering and the gas pedal responsiveness with the touch of a “Sport” and an “OPC” button. Aesthetically, the new Astra can be easily recognized by the new bumpers, the wider side skirts, the rear spoiler and the two trapezoid-shaped exhaust end cans. Highlights of the cabin are the sports seats, sporty leather steering wheel and specifically designed instrumentation.
After the Opel Astra GTC preview pics and the news that we’ll see this released on June 7th, Opel has also released an Astra GTC video. After the GTC we should also see the Astra OPC eventually appear, sometime after the Astra GTC debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Details are scarce on both models at this stage and the GTC should be more akin to the standard five-door Astra. The OPC is likely to get new aerodynamics and modifications to the engine with the two-litre unit nearing 300 hp. It could appear at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Up first, though, we’ll see the Opel Astra GTC get a press unveil on June 7 where we hope to receive some more images of the new coupé. Details revealed on that date will include technical specs, with some information on what is expected to be significant chassis changes to the standard Astra, that will also preview those to be seen on the OPC/VXR model in the future.