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Opel’s fastest-ever Astra breaks cover

Boiling point: The OPC version of the Opel Astra GTC has a whopping 206kW and 400Nm of torque.

Opel to take on the likes of the Volkswagen Scirocco R with 206kW OPC Astra coupe

7 Nov 2011

OPEL has whipped the covers from its fastest-ever production Astra – the blistering OPC coupe – ahead of its release across Europe in the middle of next year.

It will sit at the head of the new Astra GTC coupe range that made its production debut at the Frankfurt show in September before going on sale across European markets later this month, and likely in Australia from late next year.

The OPC (short for Opel Performance Centre) coupe is powered by a 2.0-litre direct-injection engine with 206kW of power and a thumping 400Nm of torque.

Opel claims it is good for a top speed of 250km/h, but the car’s 0-100km/h acceleration time remains under wraps for now.

Figures like these are enough to make the most powerful non-OPC Astra coupe – the 132kW turbo-petrol GTC – seem demure by comparison.

As GoAuto has reported, this 132kW version of the Astra GTC is a chance to be a part of the brand’s inaugural Australian range when the brand is launched here in October next year, as a rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While there is no official word on whether the hotter OPC version will join the range here, it is likely to join similar high-performance OPC versions of the Corsa light car and Insignia mid-sizer around mid-2013.

52 center imageThe brutal OPC stacks up well against potential local (five-door) rivals like the Renault Megane RS 250 (184kW/340Nm), Mazda3 MPS (190KW/380Nm) and Volkswagen Golf R (188kW/330Nm).

It also eclipses the Volkswagen Scirocco R (same outputs as the Golf R) and the new Ford Focus ST (184kW/360Nm), both of which will go on-sale in Australia next year.

Power is sent through the front wheels of the flagship Astra via a new mechanical limited-slip differential designed to curb wheelspin, while the HiPer strut system – as used in the rest of the GTC range – has been designed to improve handling and banish torque-steer.

The OPC will also feature high-performance Brembo brakes and an adaptive FlexRide chassis with ‘Sport’ and ‘OPC’ buttons that let the driver the adjust the dampers, throttle response and steering control.

Much of the OPC’s testing was conducted at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit under the supervision of Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Joachim Winkelhock.

Cosmetically, the OPC is differentiated from its tamer GTC coupe siblings by enormous multi-spoke alloy wheels and sculpted front and rear bumpers, the latter with integrated distinctive trapezoidal twin exhausts.

The car also gets subtle side skirts and an understated roof-mounted rear spoiler, making it an even closer realisation of Opel’s original 2010 Paris Concept coupe than the rest of the GTC family.

Inside, the OPC gets heavily bolstered racing-style seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and upgraded instrumentation.

European pricing and full specifications will be revealed closer to launch.

The OPC will be sold in the UK as the Vauxhall Astra VXR. Holden Special Vehicles sold the previous-generation model in Australia with VXR badges between 2006 and 2009.

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