Vauxhall has three big reveals planned for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, one of them being the 280-horsepower Vauxhall Astra VXR that was announced last November as the Opel Astra OPC. That means the 2.0-liter turbo four lives underhood, and in addition to 276 ponies, it dishes out 295 pound-feet of torque. Handling is aided by the limited-slip differential for the front axle, the HiPerStrut suspension and the "fully adaptive FlixRide system."
We ogled the curvaceous Opel Astra GTC at Frankfurt, but this is the one we've really been waiting for: The OPC version. Standing for Opel Performance Center, "OPC" is similar to the Honda "Type R" or BMW "M" nomenclature, although not nearly as well known. The 2012 Astra OPC could change that in a hurry.
While sales of the newly-minted (at least for the U.S.) Saturn Astra aren't exactly setting the world on fire, we found it to be a rather good vehicle with a chassis capable of handling plenty more power when we had it in our garage. Auto Express has what they claim is an official picture of the next-gen Vauxhall Astra VXR, which is sold in its base-model form as a Saturn in the states, and it looks pretty good. Expected in Europe is a new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine sending around 240 horsepo