Now in its fifth generation - at least on paper - the Opel Corsa has been playing second-fiddle to the Volkswagen Polo in terms of European sales, but this hasn’t stopped Opel from keeping the same nameplate in its lineup since 1982. Starting with the Corsa D, Opel has also developed a sporty OPC (Opel Performance Center) version of the model, which has met with reasonable success and sales results.

Even though the Russelsheim carmaker calls it an all-new model, the 2015 Corsa E is actually an ample technical refresh of the outgoing generation, with details like the wheelbase and greenhouse being identical between the two otherwise different-looking cars. Featuring an improved version of the same turbocharged, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, the new Corsa OPC (E) will soon bow at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, but Opel decided to release most of the model’s specifications well ahead of the event. Looking somewhat similar but featuring some more aggressive design and performance, the new model arrives in a more crowded market, so let’s see if it has the substance to back up its hot-hatch status.

  • 2015 Opel Corsa OPC
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    207
  • Torque @ RPM:
    206
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    143 mph
  • Price:
    € 27500
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Opel Corsa OPC High Resolution Exterior
- image 615548

Despite the identical greenhouse and rear shoulders, the new Corsa OPC brings a fresh overall look mostly by borrowing some design motifs from its smaller brother, the Adam. A number of dynamic features which are exclusive to the model catch my eye. Apart from the OPC-exclusive "flash blue" paint scheme, the new model features a pair of large, aluminum-framed air intakes in the redesigned front bumper, and new hood that features an air scoop that connects its two V-shaped creases.

Also thanks to the arrow-shaped headlights and a short aerodynamic lip under each air intake, the front end makes the car look more menacing than its European rivals, in my opinion.The side profile is nearly identical with the previous model, apart from a new set of wheels and a new character line, while the rear becomes more interesting, thanks to the choice of two different trunk lid spoilers, one of which is relatively demure, while the optional one is more of a small "whale tail." The sportier appearance is complemented by a pair of Remus-brand exhaust tips that flank an aerodynamic diffuser. Overall, the 2015 Corsa OPC doesn’t look half bad for an entry-level hot-hatch, despite the fact that it uses the old car as the base.

Interior

2015 Opel Corsa OPC Interior
- image 615539

The front passengers are welcomed by a pair of Recaro bucket seats with substantial bolsters, while the OPC-exclusive details also include a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, a chunkier gear knob, sports pedals (three of them, thankfully) and a new instrument panel. As an option, Opel’s Intellilink infotainment system can be ordered, supporting both Android and iOS smartphone users. While not yet officially confirmed, the model may only come in three-door guise, so the OPC may not be the best car for a family as far as its interior practicality goes. Volume-wise, the car is almost identical to a non-OPC version, with the rear passengers having slightly more space, thanks to the slim Recaro front seats.

Drivetrain

2015 Opel Corsa OPC Interior
- image 615551

The turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-banger is the same engine as on the previous model, only this time it’s good for 207 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, with an additional 26 pound-feet of torque available thanks to an overboost function. Paired with a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels, the improved engine can catapult the small hot-hatch from naught to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds, while also giving it a top speed of 143 mph. The new engine has been recalibrated to offer maximum torque lower in the power band (1,900 rpm versus 2,250 rpm) and to also have a longer torque plateau, increasing throttle response and usable power.

Sitting about half an inch lower to the ground, the new model is also equipped with Opel’s Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) system, which was developed by Opel engineers after teaming up with specialists from Koni. As an option, Opel may also offer a Performance Package, which brings a limited-slip differential from Drexler, 18-inch wheels instead of the standard 17-inch ones, a Brembo brake system with larger discs in the front, and a sport setting for the suspension.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type four-cylinder, 1.6-liter Turbo ECOTEC
Output 207 HP
Torque 206 LB-FT
Transmission six-speed manual
0 - 100 KM/H (0 - 62 MPH) 6.8 seconds
Top Speed 143 MPH (230 KM/H)

Prices

Opel hasn’t divulged any prices for the model as of 2/6/2015, but we can expect it to start at just a hint over 20,000 Euros ($22,638 as of 2/6/2015), making it slightly cheaper than most of it rivals in Europe.

Competition

Ford Fiesta ST

no article High Resolution Exterior
- image 483586

Also sporting a turbocharged, 1.6-liter, four-banger that sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual, the latest Ford Fiesta ST’s engine is less powerful than the OPC’s. "Only" 182 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque are developed by its EcoBoost mill, but the power difference does not mean much lower performance, as the Fiesta ST can hit 62 mph from a standing start in 6.9 seconds – just 0.1 second slower than the Corsa.

Thanks to what might be the best-handling chassis in its segment, the Fiesta ST is therefore quite a performer despite the lower output and somewhat high age, but let’s not forget that the Corsa E isn’t an entirely new model either. Another advantage for the Fiesta ST is its much better fuel economy, since the model achieves the equivalent of 39.9 mpg in Europe compared with the Opel’s 31.4 mpg combined fuel economy.

Volkswagen Polo GTI

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 569129

Having received a mostly technical but style-wise almost invisible refresh in 2014, the latest Volkswagen Polo GTI is the slightly more upmarket option in its segment. Unlike the old version, which used an award-winning 1.4-liter, turbocharged AND supercharged four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower, the new model has a turbocharged-only, 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Although offering "only" 192 horsepower, the new powerplant outshines both of its rivals with no fewer than 236 pound-feet of torque.

Those numbers translate into a 0-to-62 mph time of just 6.7 seconds, whether with the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional, seven-speed, DSG dual-clutch unit. Even though it has more displacement, the Polo GTI offers more than fair fuel consumption, with a European combined fuel economy of 39.2 mpg, almost as good as the Fiesta ST. Its only drawback is a slightly higher price, especially when equipped with similar features as its rivals, and a more sedate design. On the other hand, fans of sleepers may appreciate the somewhat understated style.

Conclusion

Even though it is based on an old platform and is in some ways behind its most important rivals in terms of performance, the 2015 Opel Corsa OPC is still competitive. Featuring an aggressive and fresh exterior design that I think looks good from any angle, and a comfortable but sporty interior, the new model still has what it takes. Add a presumably competitive starting price and not-too-shabby performance, the 2015 OPC might be heading toward a pretty successful career. Let’s just hope that with the increased torque compared with the old one it won’t bring tons of torque-steer like some of its FWD big brothers that also wear the OPC badge.

  • Leave it
    • Not exactly stellar fuel economy
    • Old platform dressed to look new

Press Release

No matter whether the Green Hell or the urban jungle – the new Opel Corsa OPC is at home on all terrains. No matter whether on the Nürburgring or during rush hour – the fastest member of the new generation Corsa combines extreme uncompromising athleticism with outstanding suitability for everyday use. The roughly four-meter long powerhouse impresses with its high-torque, 207 hp, 1.6 liter turbocharged engine, agile handling and not least with its sporty look. However, neither the spacious interior, well known from the Corsa, nor the good comfort have suffered. The Corsa OPC is the athlete of the small car family. It will celebrate its world premiere at the next Geneva Motor Show (March 5-15, 2015).

2015 Opel Corsa OPC High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 615540

“Our OPC models are the dynamic spearheads of our car ranges. They reflect Opel’s sporting tradition, epitomize German engineering, emotional design and distinctive driving dynamics. The new Corsa OPC impressively proves how high our engineers have set the bar in the sporty small car segment. It shows exactly what it is made of on winding mountainous roads and even on the racetrack, and it is so much fun that you do not want to get out of it anymore. Typical OPC – simply pure passion,” enthused Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann after completing the final fast calibration laps in the new Corsa OPC at the Opel Test Center in Dudenhofen.

OPC design: Powerful appearance

Sticking to the OPC tradition the top-of-the-range Corsa can immediately be identified as a true member of the Opel Performance Center. Apart from the new, OPC-exclusive paint in flash blue the Corsa also boasts a new front-end design with new large air intakes. In particular, the aluminum-framed openings below the headlights create a visual link to the Corsa’s bigger sports brother, the Astra OPC. A small scoop is located in front of the distinctive hood giving the Corsa OPC an additional optical dash of athleticism. The dynamically modelled flanks with bold sill side trims create the appropriate connection to the rear end.

2015 Opel Corsa OPC High Resolution Exterior
- image 615541

The Corsa OPC’s uncompromising sporty design is continued when viewed from the rear. The spoiler attached to the trunk lid is available in two different varieties – a subtle rear spoiler that comes as standard and a much more flamboyant version that creates even more downforce at the rear axle. The twin-pipe Remus exhaust with a diffusor around the tailpipes adds further athletic touches both optically and acoustically which becomes apparent once the accelerator is pressed.

The interior also creates a sporty ambience. Recaro performance seats, which offer passengers optimum side support even in the most demanding maze of corners, are prominent. The leather steering wheel, flattened at the bottom, the OPC gear knob and the sports pedals along with the characteristic instruments in the OPC design complete the interior. In addition, drivers will not have to miss out on outstanding connectivity. Opel’s IntelliLink infotainment system will be available as an option and bring the world of smartphones, both Apple iOS and Android, to the Corsa OPC.

1.6 Turbo ECOTEC: 207 hp and up to 280 Nm

Under the hood, the 152 kW/207 hp turbocharged gasoline engine of the new generation Corsa OPC is only waiting to be kicked into action. The 1.6-liter OPC unit now offers maximum torque of 245 Nm between 1,900 and 5,800 rpm – an additional 35 Nm are available when required with the overboost functionality. Much attention has been paid to fast torque build-up and extending the torque plateau compared to the previous generation model (max torque was only reached at 2,250 rpm in the exclusive Nürburgring Edition), so that the car is much more responsive at low engine speeds. The OPC power is transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed transmission with short and sharp shifting travels. Thus, the new Corsa OPC races to 100 km/h from a standing start in a mere 6.8 seconds. A maximum speed of 230 km/h is possible. Despite its sporting credentials, fuel consumption is a respectable 7.5 liters per 100 kilometers for the combined cycle (174 g/km CO2).

2015 Opel Corsa OPC High Resolution Exterior
- image 615542

FSD sports chassis: Always the right frequency

In order to deliver the power to the road in the best possible manner the Opel engineers teamed up with the specialists from Koni to develop a chassis that can boast innovative damping. The new Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) technology enables the damping forces to adapt to the frequency of the car, thus enabling the balancing act between uncompromising athleticism and an adequate level of comfort. The other chassis component were also calibrated accordingly. The Corsa OPC is 10 millimeters closer to the road surface than its tame standard Corsa siblings. A latest generation electronic control systems allows for various modes to be selected for the electronic stability program (ESP) and the traction control (TC). In ‘Competition Mode’ for example traction control is inactive while the ESP gives a Corsa OPC a slightly longer leash. Experienced drivers can even switch off the ESP completely when pushing the vehicle to its limits on racetracks.

Elsewhere, the steering has also been optimized. It reacts even more direct and precise and gives OPC drivers much better feedback. 215/45 R17 Michelin performance tires as standard ensure perfect grip. An OPC-optimized braking system with 308-millimeter braking discs on the front axle can be seen.

Performance Package: Pure racing flair for road use

2015 Opel Corsa OPC High Resolution Exterior
- image 615544

Drivers looking for even more racing flair can turn to the Corsa OPC Performance Package. It includes a mechanical multi-disc differential lock made by Drexler, 18-inch wheels with powerful grip Michelin tires and an even more athletic chassis set-up. Furthermore, the Performance Package comprises a Brembo high performance braking system with 330-millimimeter braking discs on the front axle providing optimal deceleration. The Performance Package ensures that the Corsa OPC becomes a true athlete that can deal with the demands of both the urban jungle and the Green Hell: while they know that the Corsa OPC will spend some time in city traffic, the development engineers have made sure, with their usual OPC tests on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, that it can take on all challenges of the toughest race track in the world.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: