Opel pulled the wraps off the Astra OPC Nürburgring Edition at Round 4 of the OPC Race Camp, a competition that will ultimately produce a driver team the Automaker will send to next year's Nürburgring 24-hour race. Opel and the Nürburgring go way back, with test stints on the Nordshcleife a standard part of production models' development process. The Astra OPC Nürburgring Edition is a nod to the legendary track. Like its "regular" Astra OPC kin, the Nürburgring Edition is a 150-mph hatchback powered by a 240-horsepower turbo four mated to a six-speed manual.
The special edition is finished exclusively in white with an offset checkered-flag graphic that runs along the hood and roof and fades away on the hatch lid. A high-mount spoiler, carbon fiber accents on the b-pillars and mirrors, and lightweight white wheels complete the visual. Inside, the full-leather interior is accented with an embroidered track map on the headrests and special numbered badging on the glove box.
Meanwhile, all we think while looking at this is "Saturn Astra Red Line." Please make this happen soon, General.
[Sources: GM, Autoblog Spanish]
Opel Presents Astra OPC Nürburgring Edition
* Limited special edition model with high-performance package
* Fourth phase of racing driver casting launched
Rüsselsheim. At the start of the fourth round of the OPC Race Camp, Opel unveils the Astra OPC "Nürburgring Edition", a limited special edition version of the successful three-door model. The "Nürburgring Edition" emphasizes the connection between the racetrack steeped in tradition and the Opel brand. The Nürburgring, and in particular the legendary Nordschleife, are rightfully known as Opel territory, as this is where Opel production cars are extensively tested during their development stage. Manuel Reuter first highlighted the OPC models' performance power in 2005, when he set a circuit record with the Astra OPC in this vehicle class. With the special Astra OPC "Nürburgring Edition", Opel now raises the connection to the Nordschleife to a new level.
The "Nürburgring Edition" is particularly eye-catching thanks to the sporty white lacquer, large rear spoiler, as well as exterior mirrors and B-pillars in carbon look. The racing circuit's red signet also adorns the B-pillars. The second-generation IDSPlus2 chassis is familiar from the Vectra and Zafira OPC models and ensures even greater driving dynamics in the Astra OPC "Nürburgring Edition". Weight optimized white rims, a two-millimeter wider track and ultra high performance tires complete the high-performance package. The interior features special full leather trim, carbon-look décor and a badge on the glove compartment with engraved serial number. An image of the race track is also engraved in the head rests. The special edition's 177 kW/240 hp 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine takes it from zero to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and to a top speed of 244 km/h. The front-wheel drive model comes with a sportily tuned six-speed manual transmission.
"The special edition model is a tribute to the Nürburgring and our customers, who have made the Astra OPC the best-selling OPC model of the current generation," says Alain Visser, Executive Director Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Adam Opel GmbH. The special edition Astra OPC "Nürburgring Edition" goes on sale in the first quarter of 2008.
OPC Race Camp makes racing dream come true
The fourth level of the OPC Race Camp that starts today on the Nordschleife is the perfect stage for presenting the Astra OPC "Nürburgring Edition". Opel breaks new ground with the OPC Race Camp – a professional talent casting that helps ordinary drivers discover and develop their motor racing skills. 500 candidates were chosen from the almost 18,500 applicants in the first round, which took place in April. Since then, further selection has taken place and today, 20 racing talents go into the fourth round hoping to capture one of the coveted eight positions in the race team that will participate in the legendary 24-hour race on the Nürburgring in 2008.
With its sporty OPC model range (Opel Performance Center) and OPC Race Camp, Opel now opens up a new range of possibilities in its traditional domain of popular motorsport. Candidates must have the talent and determination to achieve their dream of race car driving, while Opel provides them with the cars, the professional training and the necessary organizational support. After all, the dream of being a racing driver often dissipates because of the high investments that are required. Alain Visser sees the OPC Race Camp as a motorsport venture with good prospects for the future: "With the OPC Race Camp, Opel opens a completely new dimension in motorsport. The Race Camp addresses friends of motorsport that would otherwise experience car racing from the sidelines at best. It is an ideal project for Opel's participation in popular motorsport because we can get our fans even more directly involved."
The concept includes several new ideas. Firstly, it is aimed at drivers looking for a special challenge, regardless of their age, sex or current brand of car. The only condition is that they may not have any previous experience in motorsport. After all, the key question is: "Is it possible to professionally train performance-oriented drivers for a 24-hour race, and perhaps even guide them toward their dream job of being a racing driver?"
Opel racing driver star wanted
Another new idea is the focus on people and excitement at the OPC Race Camp. The fortune of the candidates at the various casting levels captivates both the media and outside observers, as do the demands of the thrilling selection processes and training stages. As a result, the OPC Race Camp has strong media partners in print and television, who accompany the entire project with regular and extensive coverage.
The Race Camp candidates use several 177 kW/240 hp Astra OPCs as training vehicles, and two racing versions of the compact sports car are ready for later competitive races. In addition, Opel has a long tradition associated with the Nürburgring. A few months after setting this record with the Astra OPC in 2005, Opel reproduced this feat with the Zafira OPC as one of the world's fastest series production vans. Opel plans further record drives with its OPC models.
Because of the positive response to the OPC Race Camp – with almost 18,500 inquiries from German-speaking European countries – Opel is considering expanding the Race Camp concept to other European countries.