Speedy Opel Astra OPC looks the genuine article

Car maker’s latest hot hatch is ably equipped to challenge its closest rivals

Opel’s Astra OPC offers a refined and comfortable driving experience with a top speed of 250kms per hour

Make: Opel

Model: Astra

Year: 2015

Fuel: Petrol

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2015

Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 06:22

   

Opel has a rich heritage in producing fast cars, with such models as the Astra GSi and the Lotus Carlton. Its latest hot hatch available to Irish motorists is this new Opel Astra OPC, squarely aimed at tacking a slice out of a hotly contested segment. Its main competitors include the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renaultsport Megane and Seat Leon Cupra.

The Astra OPC is sufficiently equipped to challenge its closest rivals, it packs a real punch, with 280hp and 400Nm of torque with a six-speed manual transmission. Opel’s engineers fitted a mechanical limited slip differential so the Astra’s front wheels can transfer all the engine’s power to the road.

To put the car’s engine, transmission and chassis to the test, we took the Astra OPC on track where we can safely explore its limits.

The car’s chassis has excellent rigidity, coupled with Opel’s HiPerStrut front suspension to enable high-speed cornering. It’s properly fast too, and The Irish Times took it to the national racetrack at Mondello to put it through its paces in our league table of laptimes. The result? The OPC laptime of 1:06.21 is just faster than Audi’s S3 Saloon, placing it in 7th position on our laptime chart.

Driving experience Back on the road, the driving experience is refined and comfortable, the OPC is content to cruise at motorway speeds, yet at the touch of the OPC button on the console it awakens its hot hatch spirits, to tackle twisty country roads.

Visually, the OPC sets itself apart from its regular GTC siblings with large air intakes, a rear spoiler and diffuser. Our test car was equipped with the optionally available 20-inch alloy wheels which sit neatly in front of immense Brembo brake callipers.

Overall, the Astra OPC is a genuine hot hatch, with the performance to match its looks. The lowdown: Opel Astra OPC

Engine size: 1998cc

Fuel type: Petrol

Power: 280hp

Torque: 400Nm

Acceleration (0-100km/h): 6.0 seconds

Top speed: 250 km/h

Consumption (combined): 8.1L/100km

CO2 emissions: 189g/km

Road tax: Band E €750

Base price: €21,995

Price as tested: €39,995