Opel Astra OPC

GM has added Opel’s 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.

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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.

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.

Opel Astra OPC                                                        R435,000

Opel Astra GTC

GMSA has announced that it will offer two model variants of the GTC at launch, the Astra GTC 1.4T Enjoy and the 1.6T Sport.

Both offer the latest in small capacity turbocharged petrol engine technology from Opel. The Astra GTC 1.4T Enjoy offers maximum power of 103 kW @ 4900 r/min and peak torque of 200 Nm over the wide range of 1850 – 4900 r/min. The Astra GTC 1.6T produces 132 kW @ 5500 r/min with 230 Nm of torque available between 2200 and 5400 r/min. In both models drive is via a 6-speed manual transmission to the front wheels.

Unlike most other three-door versions of existing hatch competitors the Astra GTC has been styled as a stand alone model in the range. Although based on the Astra platform, the only common exterior elements shared with other members of the Astra family are the exterior rear view mirror surrounds and the radio antenna.

To define the dramatic profile of the vehicle the designers limited themselves to the use of just three key styling lines to create tension and the impression of a sculpted form. The first of these lines is a fine one that sweeps downward from the side door to the bottom of the rear fender and energises the appearance of the body side.

A second styling line encapsulates the door handle and stretches to the rear, emphasising the Astra GTC’s dramatic stance by spreading the surfaces between a fine undercut and a broad shoulder. The third styling line is emphasised in chrome and follows the clean, sporty silhouette of the roof to accentuate the side window profile and guide the eye to the integrated spoiler.

The shoulder element of the GTC is the most dramatic. Its powerful design provides the car with imposing proportions and a purposeful presence on the road, highlighting the low, road-hugging stance of the vehicle.

The Astra GTC features Opel’s advanced HiPerStrut front suspension, the first time that this system has been implemented on an Astra model.

This system was first introduced on the Opel Insignia OPC mid-sized performance model and uses the Astra’s original suspension pick-up points but reduces the kingpin inclination angle by 44 percent and shortens the spindle length by 46 percent compared to the McPherson strut system fitted to other Astra models.

These features assist in a significant reduction of torque steer – a common occurrence in high-performance front wheel drive cars. The HiPerStrut front suspension geometry allows the Astra GTC driver to fully enjoy the high performance of the vehicle without the steering being compromised by torque steer under hard acceleration and when changing gear.

Compared to the regular Astra models, the GTC is lower – by as much as 15mm, has a 10mm longer wheelbase at 2695mm, and a wider track – increased 40mm at the front and 30mm at the rear. All of this adds up to an aggressive, lower ‘planted on the ground’ look for the Astra GTC and improved handling.

Steering

The GTC’s steering is by a rack and pinion system with speed sensitive electronic power assistance. In order to ensure the optimum level of driver feel and steering feedback the electric power assistance motor is mounted directly on the steering rack, as opposed to the usual mounting position on the steering column.

Sporty but practical

With the Opel Astra GTC there is no compromise in functionality despite its coupe design. The Astra GTC offers comfortable seating for five adults with a flexible luggage compartment that will hold between 380 litres and 1165 litres – more than 100 litres more than other vehicles in its class – depending on the seat configuration. There are numerous additional convenience storage areas inside the vehicle.

Prices

  • Astra GTC 1.4T Enjoy                      R287,000
  • Astra GTC 1.6T Sport                      R304,000