Most automakers are putting their high performance machines up against the clock, using Nurburgring lap times as a way to promote their vehicle. Opel just wanted to prove that their car was up to the test. After unveiling the Insignia OPC sedan, Opel decided to bring the same level of style and performance into their larger variant, and thus have created the Insignia OPC Sports Tourer, and is set to go on sale later on this year.
The Sport Tourer wears similar bodywork to the hot rod sedan and even rides on the same 20 inch rims as the four door. Under the hood Opel has massaged the 2.8 Liter turbocharged V6 to make 325 HP. The new performance parts like the turbo and exhaust means that the factory tuned wagon can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 6.3 seconds, and will hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH. The OPC version is built on a lower, reworked mechatronic chassis with FlexRide, the German automaker’s adaptive 4x4 transmission that also features an electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD). Running gear is finished off with a set of purpose-built Brembo brakes.
This is definitely one sport wagon that you should think twice about messing with when sitting side by side at a red light.
Press release after the jump.
The Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will hit dealerships later this year, but first it has to go through hell – the Green Hell of the Nürgurgring’s Nordschleife, considered the toughest, most demanding and dangerous race track in the world.
Opel engineers insist that all vehicles in their OPC range complete a rigorous 10,000 kilometer testing around the 20.8 km Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, dubbed the Green Hell by legendary race car driver Jackie Stewart. Just a few days ago, the Insignia OPC sedan finished the challenge with no problems.
“The Insignia OPC sedan raced 487 laps for 12 days at some top speeds flawlessly. This kind of performance and quality is what we expect from all our Opel cars,” says Hans Demant, Managing Director of Opel.
The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer boasts a 325 hp/239 kW, 435 Nm 2.8-liter V6 Turbo engine for maximum power. It features high-tech elements, like a lower, reworked mechatronic chassis with FlexRide, an Adaptive 4x4 transmission with an electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) and purpose-built Brembo brakes – all complemented by spacious station wagon functionality with 1530 liters of load capacity.
Automotive technology at its best
Like the Insignia OPC sedan, the Sports Tourer is full of technological highlights. The OPC engine is 25 percent more powerful than the 260 hp version of the 2.8 V6 Turbo in the Insignia Sport and Cosmo. The increase in power was obtained by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure, with special mufflers contributing to a sporty, deep sound. The unit comes with a six-speed manual transmission, enabling acceleration from zero to 100 in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted).
The management unit of the Adaptive 4x4 with eLSD has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Engineers at the Opel Performance Center developed a specific high-performance front axle called HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) for the chassis, which is 10 mm lower than the AWD Insignia Sport version. Benefits include reduced steering disturbances and an improved handling feel for the driver.
The OPC’s standard electronic FlexRide suspension has been adjusted for extra performance and caters to those enjoying a sportier ride. It offers three different sporty choices: The standard mode provides its most comfortable ride, a Sport mode is stiffer and a new OPC setting brings optimal fun.
Tough Track: 12 days, 27,000 gear shifts, 35,551 curves and 487 laps
Before it hits the roads in the fall, the new Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will take its turn against the Green Hell: 10,000 fast kilometers on the Nordschleife translates to around 180,000 kilometers on the road. Modified tuning accommodates the station wagon’s shifted center of gravity, which is why the Sports Tourer suspension will be tested separately on the Ring.
Even though the 20.8 kilometer, extremely demanding track is part of the standard OPC program, this extra validation is always something special for Volker Strycek and his team. The ex-German Car Championship driver and Manager of the Opel Performance Center sums up: Twelve drivers, Opel design engineers and Nordschleife connoisseurs trade off behind the wheel of a production Insignia OPC for 12 days, rain or shine. “It really can take a toll on a those 12 days add up to 27,000 gear shifts along 35,551 curves during a total of 487 laps.”
Validation Coordinator Jens Hornischer, who drives a major part of the endurance test distance, says, “We push the car to give a constant 90 percent or so – and that is really a tough test for any car. And there is next to no preparation work.”
An Arden Blue Insignia OPC sedan completed its rite of passage earlier in May, confirming the high quality standard that Opel customers expect.
Opel’s long tradition of sport station wagons offers best of both worlds
The Insignia OPC Sports Tourer is the latest chapter in a long station wagon success story. As a pioneer in this segment, Opel brought the Olympia Rekord Car-A-Van, a combination of car and van, to Europe in 1953. In 1970 Opel built the Ascona Voyage, the first lifestyle station wagon.
The next innovation in this segment followed in 1991, when Opel presented the most powerful production station wagon in the world, the Omega Caravan 24V, a 3-liter, straight-six cylinder with 204 hp. The Vectra OPC continued the Opel tradition of powerful station wagons. It was available from 2005, ultimately as a high-performance front-wheel drive model with 280 hp.
The new 325 hp Opel Insignia OPC takes a huge step forward in terms of driving dynamics with even more power and the Adaptive 4x4 system. And the dynamic Sports Tourer version is also bound to turn heads.
OPC: At home on the Nordschleife
Opel testing on Nürburgring’s Nordschleife has a long tradition dating back to the 1960s and sealed when the German brand signed a partner contract with the legendary race track in 2006. It was then that the Rüsselsheim automaker opened its own test center directly at the Ring. The venue offers ideal testing conditions, particularly for Opel’s OPC models.
The current high-performance model portfolio includes the Corsa OPC, Astra OPC, Meriva OPC and Zafira OPC in addition to the Insignia OPC notchback, hatchback and Sports Tourer. While the special “Nürburgring Edition” model of the Astra OPC honors the demanding race track, the Astra “OPC Race Camp” pays tribute to the second season of a wildly successful race driver casting.
The OPC Race Camp offer ambitious drivers with no motorsport experience the opportunity to discover their motor racing talents through a rigorous talent scouting process and numerous qualification stages. Those who have the necessary abilities then receive professional instruction to hone their skills and prepare them for competitive motor racing. Opel provides the professional training, cars and necessary organizational support for the Race Camp. Currently 750 candidates from a total of 22,000 applicants are undergoing the training and elimination process led by former race drivers and Opel brand ambassadors Manuel Reuter and Joachim Winkelhock. All hope to land one of the 10 coveted spots on the driver team for the two Astra racing cars that participate in the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring next year.