Feel like Vin Diesel in an Astra
IGREW up loving VW. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I have a slight obsession with the German brand, specifically the Golf GTIs. For me, GTIs are the ultimate cars when it comes to hatchbacks.
They set the benchmark for hatchbacks, and I don’t see any reason to change my view as the German brand continues to improve on their models year after year.
So when I was handed the keys to an Opel Astra OPC, I found it a tad difficult to get excited about a car I had little clue about.
I had caught glimpses of the car on the roads, but didn’t know what to expect. It was no Golf GTI, I thought, but what the hell, why not try out something new?
The first thing that caught my eye about the OPC was the large tyres and the shiny alloy wheels. They give that to you standard? That’s not half bad.
I spent 20 minutes examining the exterior of the car before jumping inside. The body of the car had a masculine structure to it. You have those guys who spend seven days a week at the gym, pumping iron non-stop. Well if the OPC were a person, it would be that guy – big and powerful.
The OPC also comes with a standard sports kit, so the side skirts and low suspension are part and parcel of the car. And how can I forget the two exhaust pipes at the back?
While the OPC looked strong and powerful on the outside, it was by no means certain that the drive would be similar.
As I jumped in the OPC, I noticed the sports bucket seats. The OPC leather items had the comfort as well as the looks.
Starting the engine of the OPC was simple – but the loud roar took me totally by surprise.
I’ll be honest, I felt slightly intimidated by that noise. Clearly I had underestimated the car.
The first few kilometres behind the wheel were travelled with the utmost caution as I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to handle the raw power.
Once I got more comfortable, I proceeded to push it a bit more, and, let me tell you, I was blown away by the power of this bad boy. I’m sure I’d just done 0-100km/h in about six seconds.
In spite of all that power the car’s handling is outstanding. It shows immense composure on the bends. There were many times on my drive home that I felt like Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious.
The noise of the hatchback, its sporty interior and the satisfaction of leaving cars eating dust was a beautiful feeling.
It caught the eyes of many motorists, who took the opportunity to stare down at the car while I was waiting at the traffic lights.
When I arrived home I was keen to explore what the car’s interior had to offer, not having had a chance to do so while driving.
I had enjoyed the comfort of the steering wheel, but felt that the gearstick could have been designed a bit better.
The car includes everything one would expect from a high-performance vehicle, including the ability to drive in three different modes. One can drive in standard mode, sports mode and OPC mode.
The car also includes an impressive infotainment system with a seven-inch high-resolution screen. The radio CD 600 IntelliLink in the OPC provides USB interface, image gallery playback, Bluetooth handsfree, audio streaming, voice control for phone and audio functions, as well as a steering wheel remote control.
A problem I’ve noticed with hatchbacks is the limited space in the back seat. But the OPC doesn’t suffer from this glitch. There is space for the tallest back-seat passengers.
I wasn’t prepared to wait until the next morning to drive the OPC so I hopped in the car after dinner, enjoying the raw power of the car.
Having driven the Opel for more than a week, I must say it has left a lasting impression on me.
The sheer power, sexy exterior and comfort of the hatchback really changed my perception of the brand. Previously I’d never paid much attention to Opel, but driving the OPC changed my mind.
Opel has taken the brand to new heights with the OPC. It’s a car that can go wheel-to-wheel with most high-performance cars on the market, including the Golf GTi.
Hats off to Opel for creating a beast of a car.
REVVED UP: Get an adrenalin rush from the raw power of the Opel Astra OPC.