General Motors’ European arm is building a high-performance version of the Opel Astra GTC. Dubbed OPC for Opel Performance Center, the high-performance machine builds on the sultry Astra GTC coupe-hatchback seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
A turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four engine produces 280 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, with power routed to the front wheels. Opel says that engine enables a top speed of 155 mph -- making this the fastest factory-issued Astra ever. It’s also a bit more powerful than the likes of the forthcoming Ford Focus ST, whose turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is rated at 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque.
To keep the chassis under control with so much power sent through the front wheels, the Astra OPC employs GM’s HiPerStrut front suspension, which helps quell torque steer. The car also receives a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and FlexRide adaptive dampers, which can be switched between “Sport” and “OPC” modes. To differentiate the car from regular Astra GTC models, the OPC wears touches like a new front fascia with larger air intakes, a larger rear spoiler, bucket seats, unique gauges, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and twin parallelogram-shaped exhaust tips.
As is the case with most new performance cars, Opel wrung out the Astra OPC on the Nürburgring in Germany. The Astra joins two other Opel performance models, the 192-hp Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition, and the 325-hp Insignia OPC.