Between the New York Auto Show, the Shanghai Motor Show and Top Marques Monaco, there's a major motor expo happening on each of three continents. But the latest model you see here wasn't unveiled at any one of them.
What you're looking at is the hottest hatch to come from Opel. It's called the Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition, and it means business. To start with, the Opel Performance Center (think of it as General Motors of Europe's AMG) has tweaked the 1.6-liter turbo four from 192 horsepower to 210 and boosted the torque count from 170 lb-ft (196 on overboost) to 184 (206 on overboost).
To cope with the added twist, OPC's fitted a multi-plate mechanical limited-slip differential. They've also added Bilstein suspension components and Brembo brakes, recalibrated the ABS, traction control and stability management systems. On the outside, they've mounted new 18-inch alloys on 35-series low-profile rubber and a new front spoiler, dual-tipped stainless-steel exhaust and the requisite special badges.
The result is a Karousel-charging 6.8-second sprint to 60 and an Autobahn-crunching 143 mph top end. Only 500 examples will be offered, with two new colors (Grasshopper green and the above-pictured Henna red) joining the catalog for this special edition. Follow the jump for the full press blast and scope out the trio of images in the gallery below for a closer look.
Most powerful Opel Corsa of all time: the OPC 'Nürburgring Edition'
- Output of 154 kW/210 hp – maximum torque raised to 280 Nm
- Mechanical, multi-plate limited slip differential on the front axle
- Newly-developed Bilstein performance chassis
- Special, high-performance brakes by Brembo
Rüsselsheim. The Corsa OPC is now even more powerful. The limited OPC 'Nürburgring Edition' is based on the recently upgraded Corsa model line and, with just around 500 units planned, it will offer a rare blend of raw power, performance and passion.
Additional power is delivered by modified engine management and turbocharger systems, a sports exhaust with reduced back pressure, and optimization for 100 octane fuel. As a result, the maximum output of the 1.6-liter OPC turbo engine is raised from 141 kW/192 hp to 154 kW/210 hp, giving a specific power rating of 131.4 hp per liter which is exceptional in this engine class. The maximum torque of the base engine (230-266 Nm) is also increased to 250 Nm and 280 Nm when the turbocharger's 'overboost' function is activated.
In order to convert such power into efficient propulsion, the front axle is equipped with a mechanical, multi-plate limited-slip differential. This helps reduce wheel slip when there are very high lateral forces under acceleration, for example, or changes in the texture of the road surface. It is also ideal for forays onto the race track.
The chassis of the Corsa top model has also been retuned. Measures taken include an even lower ride height, the use of newly developed spring and damper units by Bilstein and – as a further high-tech detail – a new lightweight front braking system from specialists Brembo with bespoke, high-performance brake linings. The control algorithms for the chassis support systems – ABS, Traction Control (TC) and the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – have all been recalibrated by experts at the Opel Performance Center to match the car's new configuration.
Visual highlights include two new, exclusive body colors – apple-green 'Grasshopper' and red 'Henna' – as well as newly designed 8 x 18-inch, forged aluminum wheels in high-gloss grey, shod with the 225/35 R 18 V tires. Other features distinguishing the 'Nürburgring Edition' from the existing Corsa OPC are a front spoiler lip and a new dual exhaust in stainless steel, as well as 'Nürburgring' logos on the B-pillars.
The sports interior features unique sill plates with black and red 'Nürburgring' lettering, and decorative white stitching on the front Recaro sports seats, as well as the rear seats, handbrake and gearshift console. The front seatbacks are also embossed with the 'Nürburgring' logo and the steering wheel insert is finished in piano black.
Outstanding driving performance – outstanding driving fun
Standard performance figures give only hint of what it's like to drive the Corsa OPC 'Nürburgring Edition'. It hits 100 km/h from a standing start in just 6.8 seconds, and in-gear elasticity is boosted by that plentiful torque generation. This small sports hatch completes the transition from 80 to 120 km/h in 5th gear in just 6.2 seconds, and with a top speed of 230 km/h it is among the performance leaders in its class.
As its name suggests, the Corsa OPC 'Nürburgring Edition' once again underscores Opel's bond with the famous Eifel race track steeped in tradition. The top-of-the-line Corsa had to prove its brilliant driving dynamics during testing and tuning runs under maximum load on the Nürburgring north loop, the world's most demanding race track. But the driving fun on offer is not restricted to speed and handling precision alone. It also includes an exciting aural experience: the sound of the newly developed exhaust system is tailored to suit the character of the vehicle, as well as giving optimal performance.
The essence of the Corsa OPC 'Nürburgring Edition' is best summed up by Opel brand ambassador and OPC performance driving trainer Joachim 'Jockel' Winkelhock. "You drive and drive and drive – and you just don't want to stop," he says in his folksy manner with a typically roguish smile.
The Opel Corsa 'Nürburgring Edition' can now be ordered at a recommended retail price of 27.650 euros (incl. VAT in Germany).