GENERAL Motors Africa has added Opel’s top performance Astra OPC, the most powerful production Astra produced to date, to its passenger vehicle range. The Astra OPC compliments the Corsa OPC in the Opel range in South Africa to offer buyers a high performance option in both the small and compact hatch sectors. This latest offering from OPC (Opel Performance Centre) is powered by a 206 kW turbocharged direct injection 2,0 litre engine with maximum torque of 400 Nm. This enables the Astra OPC to sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 6 seconds with an electrically governed top speed of 250 km/h.
This latest high-performance turbocharged engine produces a healthy 104 kW per litre – power delivery that is in the realm of full blown competition engines and the highest specific power output per litre of any Opel petrol production car. This is 12% more than the previous Astra OPC with torque improved by 25%.
This sporty powerhouse of an engine is based on the latest Opel 2,0 litre engine architecture designed to offer more-for-less in terms of engine size and performance delivery. In keeping with this philosophy the new Astra OPC delivers its higher power and torque with fuel consumption that is reduced by 12% compared to the previous model and with CO2 emissions that are 14% lower. Average fuel consumption recorded by Opel engineers in tests is just 8,11 l/100km – a remarkable achievement for an engine with this level of performance. CO2 emissions are 189 g/km.
With the proven sturdy and reliable Opel 2,0 litre engine as a base, the OPC engineering team set about optimizing the engine air intake and exhaust systems to maximise the flow of combustion gasses through the engine for optimum power delivery. The turbocharger was designed to withstand a high charge pressure with maximum reliability and durability.
High-tech features such as direct petrol injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger with intercooler, double camshaft phasing, and twin balance shafts are incorporated in the 1998 cm3 all alloy four cylinder engine.
High Performance Chassis with FlexRide, HiPerStruts, and Limited Slip Differential
Working with the Astra GTC as a base Opel’s OPC group has designed a high performance chassis package specifically targeted at optimized lateral dynamics and superb handling qualities to complement the 206 kW/400 Nm drive train of the new Astra OPC. Key elements that contribute to the excellent vehicle dynamics are high performance struts (HiPerStruts) on the front suspension; the mechatronic FlexRide chassis system; a mechanical plate type” limited slip differential, and the Brembo brakes.
The FlexRide chassis system allows the driver to tailor fundamental handling characteristics of the Astra OPC. There is a choice of three different driving modes with each one offering a unique experience of high performance driving by providing degrees of shock absorber action, steering feel, and throttle response.
The standard mode provides a good all-round balance between comfort and performance for everyday motoring. A touch of a button is all that is required to engage the ‘Sport’ mode. With ‘Sport’ mode activated the suspension is stiffened up, agility is increased by a reduction in body roll, and steering action is more direct providing an overall sharper feel for the vehicle. The ultimate driving experience in the Astra OPC comes when the ‘OPC’ mode is engaged. With this mode active the steering becomes even more direct, the throttle is more responsive and the suspension setting is stiffened to deliver a maximised, no compromise handling performance.
A ‘Watt’s link’, a suspension design tried and tested in competition use, is incorporated in the rear suspension where it is combined with a compound-crank axle. This setup ensures superb lateral stability and precise steering with the vehicle easily following the line chosen by the driver. It is a system that really comes into its own on twisty road sections where quick changes of direction are required. The ‘Watt’s linkage’ comprises of a short, pivoting center link with ball joints at each end to which the lateral links from the suspension uprights are joined. This system enables some 80% of lateral loads to be absorbed by the rear suspension.
Wheels are 20” alloy fitted with 245/35 R20 tyres as standard. The specification of the gas filled dampers is to a unique OPC standard while all mounting bushings are of a stiffer specification than on the standard Astra. Springs are of a stiffer rate than those found across the Astra and Astra GTC range.
The OPC is priced at R435 000.