Hot hatch a scorcher

Opel has re­vealed de­tails of its new Corsa OPC ahead of its Geneva show de­but next month

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - MO­TOR NEWS RE­PORTER

OPEL is launch­ing its new Corsa in SA this week, but the news real petrol­heads have been wait­ing for is on the next gen­er­a­tion of the OPC (Opel Per­for­mance Cen­tre) pocket rocket ver­sion. It will pre­miere at next month’s Geneva Mo­tor Show and the com­pany has pre­re­leased some in­for­ma­tion and pic­tures.

Opel says that its new 152kW hot hatch will com­bine ex­treme un­com­pro­mis­ing ath­leti­cism with out­stand­ing suit­abil­ity for ev­ery­day use.

“Our OPC mod­els are the dy­namic spear­heads of our car ranges,” said Opel group CEO Karl-Thomas Neu­mann. “They re­flect Opel’s sport­ing tra­di­tion, epit­o­mis­ing Ger­man en­gi­neer­ing, emo­tional de­sign and dis­tinc­tive driv­ing dy­nam­ics. The new Corsa OPC proves how high our en­gi­neers have set the bar in the sporty small car seg­ment. It shows what it is made of on wind­ing moun­tain­ous roads and even on the race­track.”

Apart from the new OPCex­clu­sive paint in Flash Blue the Corsa OPC also boasts a new front end de­sign with new large air in­takes. In par­tic­u­lar, the alu­minum framed open­ings be­low the head­lights cre­ate a vis­ual link to the Corsa’s big­ger sports brother, the As­tra OPC.

At the rear, the spoiler at­tached to the tail­gate will be avail­able in two dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties — a sub­tle rear spoiler that comes as stan­dard and a more flam­boy­ant ver­sion which cre­ates even more down­force at the rear axle. The twin-pipe Re­mus ex­haust with a dif­fuser around the tailpipes adds fur­ther ath­letic touches vis­ually and acous­ti­cally, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

The in­te­rior also cre­ates a sporty am­bi­ence. Re­caro per­for­mance seats, which of­fer pas­sen­gers op­ti­mum side sup­port even in the most de­mand­ing of cor­ners, are prom­i­nent. The leather steer­ing wheel, flat­tened at the The Opel Corsa OPC, right, will be avail­able in SA in the third quar­ter of 2015. Above: The in­te­rior boasts OPC-spe­cific items in­clud­ing Re­caro sports seats. bot­tom, the OPC gear knob and the sports ped­als along with the char­ac­ter­is­tic in­stru­ments in an OPC de­sign com­plete the in­te­rior. In ad­di­tion, driv­ers will not miss out on con­nec­tiv­ity. Opel’s In­telliLink in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem will be avail­able as an op­tion and bring the world of smartphones to the Corsa OPC.

Un­der the bon­net will lurk a 1.6l tur­bocharged petrol en­gine of­fer­ing 152kW and torque of 245Nm be­tween 1,900 and 5,800r/min. An ad­di­tional 35Nm is avail­able when re­quired with the over­boost func­tion­al­ity. The com­pany says that much at­ten­tion has been paid to quick torque build-up and ex­tend­ing the torque plateau com­pared to the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion model, so the car is much more re­spon­sive at low en­gine speeds.

The power is trans­ferred to the front wheels via a six-speed trans­mis­sion and the com­pany is claim­ing a sprint to 100km/h from stand­still in 6.8 sec­onds. A max­i­mum speed of 230km/h is pos­si­ble. De­spite its sport­ing cre­den­tials, fuel con­sump­tion is said to be a re­spectable 7.5l/100km and emis­sions 174g/km.

To de­liver the power to the road in the best pos­si­ble man­ner, Opel en­gi­neers teamed up with spe­cial­ists from sus­pen­sion com­pany Koni to de­velop a chas­sis that has in­no­va­tive damp­ing. The new Fre­quency Se­lec­tive Damp­ing tech­nol­ogy en­ables the damp­ing forces to adapt to the fre­quency of the car, en­abling a bal­anc­ing act be­tween un­com­pro­mis­ing ath­leti­cism and an ad­e­quate level of com­fort.

Other chas­sis com­po­nents were also cal­i­brated ac­cord­ingly. It is 10mm closer to the road sur­face than its tame stan­dard Corsa sib­lings.

A lat­est gen­er­a­tion elec­tronic con­trol sys­tem al­lows for var­i­ous modes to be se­lected for the elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gram (ESP) and the trac­tion con­trol. In Com­pe­ti­tion Mode, for ex­am­ple, trac­tion con­trol is in­ac­tive while the ESP gives the car a slightly longer leash. Ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers can even switch off the ESP when push­ing the ve­hi­cle to its lim­its on race­tracks.

The steer­ing has also been op­ti­mised. It reacts more di­rectly and pre­cisely and gives the driver much bet­ter feed­back. Stan­dard 215/45 R17 Miche­lin per­for­mance tyres en­sure op­ti­mum grip while an OPC-op­ti­mised brak­ing sys­tem with 308mm brake discs is stan­dard.

Driv­ers look­ing for fur­ther rac­ing flair can turn to the Corsa OPC Per­for­mance Pack­age. It in­cludes a me­chan­i­cal multi-disc dif­fer­en­tial lock made by Drexler, 18-inch wheels with even stick­ier Miche­lin tyres and an even more ath­letic chas­sis setup. Fur­ther­more, the Per­for­mance Pack­age com­prises a Brembo high per­for­mance brak­ing sys­tem with 330mm brake discs on the front axle pro­vid­ing op­ti­mal de­cel­er­a­tion.

The new Corsa OPC is planned for launch in SA in the third quar­ter of 2015.

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