The Speedster is first of all a super-light, minimalist race car for the street, with as few concessions to weight as possible. Its nominal weight, according to Opel, is a mere 945 kg, and that includes 75 kg for an average driver. So what we’re talking about here is a two-place car that weighs only about 2,100 lb ready to go out and kick some butt. The chassis is constructed of bonded, extruded aluminum, and the body is made of bonded composite panels with fiberglass reinforcements.
The speedster package is a tidy one, 149 in. long overall, on a 91.7-in. wheelbase, 67.2-in. wide and only 44-in. tall, with a front track of 57 in. and rear track of 58.6 in. It rides on Bridgestone Potenza P175/55R-17 fronts and P225/45R-17 rears—not too tall, not too fat, just right for this application.
The Speedster comes with a transverse-mounted all-alloy Opel 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine with 16 valves, coil-on-plug ignition and EFI that produces 147 bhp at 5800 rpm and 152 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, in the same neighborhood as a Mazda Miata engine, but numbers that might been sneered at were it not for the car’s light weight. Opel says 0 to 60 mph comes in just 5.9 sec., with a top go of 130 mph. But it’s an engine built for European high-speed running, perfectly capable of making the car do the things we like to do with cars. It has a wonderful growl, lots of guts, and it’s mated to a transaxle that really works well in terms of gearing and shifting. And, of course, since it’s so close to your ear and your rear, the engine’s presence is about double what it would be in a conventional car.