2006 Opel Astra OPC

Once again our European subsidiaries flaunt what we cannot have. The new Opel Astra OPC (Opel Performance Center) will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show next month and is the production (yes, it's production) version of last year's Astra High Performance Concept. Opel tweaks the 2.0-liter engine (basically the same block in the ION and Cobalt) with a turbocharger that boosts the little four-banger to 240hp and pulls with 190 ft-lbs of torque. GM is quoting a top speed of more than 150mph. That makes this one of the most powerful compact FWD cars on the market. Click through for more pics and information.

2006 Opel Astra OPC

OPC worked magic through revisions to the intake and exhaust manifolds, use of high-performance materials as well as enhancements to the turbocharger and injection system to boost horsepower in this baby.

The car is flanked by 18-inch alloys, with 19-inch wheels an option. Brake rotors are painted in OPC blue, the official color of Opel speed.

2006 Opel Astra OPC

On the outside Opel added a lower and wider front air intake, a honeycomb grille and a roof ?aerofoil? and a trapezoidal center tailpipe.

Inside you?ll plant your rear in Recaro seats, available in two-tone leather (Cobalt SS SG) while you shift the six speed with a revised shifter knob, watching the new chrome ringed instruments with blue needles on black dials.

2006 Opel Astra OPC

If GM really loves us Amercians they will ensure this arden blue beauty makes it to us wearing a Saturn badge to replace the lowly Ion.

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