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.

GM's European division has really done a number on the compact hatchback to make it worthy of the badge, dropping a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four with direct injection underhood. The 280-horsepower engine is also good for 295 lb-ft of torque, and GM says the Astra OPC can do all of 155 mph. Like the Astra GTC, the OPC uses the HiPerStrut front suspension with adjustable dampers, steering and throttle, thanks to the FlexRide control system. But the top-of-the-line Astra model adds a limited-slip front differential to help control all that turbo torque. Brembo brakes, special front and rear fascias, dual exhaust, performance seats, a special steering wheel and new instrumentation round out the OPC package.

The Astra OPC will also be sold as the Vauxhall Astra VXR in the U.K.

Of course, the first question any of us here in the States have is, "Will we get it?" To which the answer is, per usual, not likely. If we do get any version of the Astra, it's much more likely to be the GTC, which could potentially be sold as a coupe version of the Buick Verano. Read the entire press release after the jump.
Show full PR text
The new OPC – the most powerful Astra ever

  • High performance version of Astra GTC: 2.0 liter direct injection turbo gasoline engine
  • 206 kW/280 hp, 400 Nm, top speed of 250 km/h
  • Exclusive high performance chassis with limited slip differential and Brembo-brakes
  • Powerful OPC design emphasizes pure passion and sporty interior

Rüsselsheim. The new Opel Astra GTC is being given a sharper edge: the crowning glory of the new sporty compact coupé will come in summer 2012 in the shape of the high performance OPC (Opel Performance Center) variant. The Astra OPC is powered by a 2.0 liter direct injection turbo gasoline engine. The performance figures: 206 kW/280 hp of power and maximum torque of 400 Nm. This power house ensures that the Astra OPC can reach a top speed of 250 km/h. Never before has an Astra been so fast.

The whole chassis of the sports car is designed to deliver power, without comprise. In line with the finest OPC traditions, the car was put through its paces and polished on the Northern Loop ("Nordschleife") of the Nürburgring race track in Germany under the supervision of the Opel brand ambassador Joachim ("Jockel") Winkelhock. It is geared especially towards lateral dynamics and superb handling qualities. The high tech front-wheel suspension, HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) of the Astra GTC helps to achieve this. . In addition to the HiPerStrut feature, the OPC also enjoys all the benefits of the fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system. The FlexRide chassis lets the driver sharpen the characteristic shock absorber line, the steering and the gas pedal responsiveness. He can do that at the touch of a "Sport" and "OPC" button. However, the OPC model goes one major step further: it has been fitted with a limited slip differential on the front axle. This gives the OPC even more stability and better handling, in other words the car has more grip when exiting bends at high speeds – even in wet conditions. "We have devised a great package that will convince even the most experienced sports drivers – not just on the Nürburgring," the motorsport legend, Winkelhock , explains. The high performance brake system made by the prestigious manufacturer, Brembo, ensures good deceleration stats and maximum stability, even in moments of intense pressure.

The exclusive body work of the Astra OPC is an expression of pure passion for power and speed. The Astra GTC with its racy edge has so far been the most emotional expression of Opel's design language but the OPC version flexes its muscles. The OPC is given extra sportiness with a set of specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a trapeze shape. In the inside, the compact sports car has performance seats, a flat OPC sports leather steering wheel and special instruments.

OPC: Performance and pure passion

The Opel Performance Center (OPC), responsible for the sporty accents in the Opel model line-up since 1999, is a decisive element in the brand's profile. It embodies a high level of emotionality and passion for striking design, top-class technology and extraordinary driving dynamics. The vehicles with "OPC" in the model name are positioned as the emotional spearheads of the respective model lines. Current OPC models include the Corsa, 141 kW/192 hp (154 kW/210 hp as Nürburgring-Edition) as well as the Insignia OPC, which is available as a 4 or 5-door sedan and Sports Tourer. The 2.8 liter V6 turbo gasoline engine (239 kW/325 hp) is the most powerful Opel production engine in history. For the "Unlimited" version of the Insignia OPC maximum speed goes up to 270 km/h (depending on trim and transmission variant).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just an example of how Europe has always been a whole step or two ahead of everyone else when it comes to small car/hatch design.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damn that car is a stunner!!! GM needs to get that bad boy over here asap. As long as they don't water it down it's going to sell!! All this coming for a nonfan of American cars!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      and here we are with the Sonic and the Cruze... This thing is HOT!!! I'm a fan of American cars... Or is it, I like to put More Americans to work. Build it here and they will come...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know GM feels burned by the failure of the Saturn Astra as a volume product, but it's hard to believe there wouldn't be a niche market for this as a GTI/Mazdaspeed/Focus ST competitor. If GM is really serious about attracting a younger crowd, here's where to start.
        • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        my 2007 MS3 is not happy about this OPC, but is happy it will not be coming to the states.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So far I heard very good reviews for the handling of the GTC. I even heard it's better than Ford Focus. If they managed to keep that for the OPC it'll be the best hot hatch on the market. It's already the prettiest one. I like that they kept it FWD. Do you read this, VW? FWD with real LSD. Every hot hatch manufacturer seems to get that why don't you, VW?
      Devin Christiansen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would love to see this with a Buick badge.
      George S
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buick Verano Coupe OPC.... That would be cool, very cool. It doesn't fit Buick at all but I will totally buy it!
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damn! It actually looks really gorgeous! This could be the successor to GM's legendary Cruze SS if done right! Sell it as the Buick GSX Coupe, price it at Golf R levels, but offer sh*tloads of standard equpment and technology, and you'll have a big winner on your hands! I can't wait to see the future car magazine comparos for the hot compact class! VW Golf R vs Ford Focus ST vs Buick GSX Coupe vs Mazdaspeed3 vs next WRX vs BMW 128i w/ 2.0 turbo vs next Lancer Raliart vs Dodge C-evo SRT4 vs Scion FR-s turbo (if they ever make one)
      • 3 Years Ago
      vs the 2013 Focus ST: HiPer Strut > No RevoKnuckle Mechanical LSD > Electronic "LSD" And it has more power too. Come on Ford, step up your game! Of course, what we can't compare yet is pricing (the Astra OPC might end up in more of a Focus RS price bracket). But Ford has to price the Focus ST pretty carefully considering it's missing some important performance features.
      Mel @ aWingThing.COm
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, so sexy. I love the front fascia. We'll never get such a beast as a Buick here but oh well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should really realize that the reason we do not buy hatchbacks is because the ones that are offered here are UGLY! Now if this sexy vehicle was offered that would be an absolute different story! Please, please wake up and offer this ride in the US, please!
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