The battle in the high-performance hatchback market is pretty intense. There’s the Volkswagen Golf R, the Mazda Mazdaspeed3, and Ford’s recently announced Focus ST heating up the playing field. Not one to let competition sweep them away, Opel has announced details on the OPC version of their most successful hatchback, the Astra.
Until now, the most powerful Astra was the GTC, but the introduction of the OPC has changed that. The new OPC will be distinguished by a sportier and more aggressive presence on the road, a more powerful engine, and a chassis designed to deliver power. The exterior will be distinguished by specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler, and a new exhaust system with two exhaust tail pipes in a trapezoidal shape. The interior is also the expression of the highest level of sportiness. In it, there are performance seats, a flat OPC sports leather steering wheel, and special instruments.
The Astra OPC is powered by a 2.0 liter direct injection turbo gasoline engine with an output of 280 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. It can hit a top speed of 155 mph - making it the fastest Astra ever. Next to a very powerful engine, the OPC will also be equipped with a front-wheel suspension, HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system, and a limited slip differential on the front axle. All of the tests done at the Nurburgring race track proved that the OPC is ready for any extreme driving.
UPDATE 11/04/2011: This review has been updated with official images and details.