Opel Astra OPC arrives
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22nd February, 2013
- Exclusive high-performance chassis with FlexRide and HiPerStrut
- Maximum traction with multi-plate, mechanical limited slip differential
- Light-weight Brembo® brake callipers
- High-performance bucket seats with prestigious “AGR” health seal
Opel Australia has expanded their Astra line-up with a new high-performance model. The powerful 206 kW (280 hp) Astra
OPC is now available locally. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine, the Astra OPC achieves maximum
torque of 400 Nm and can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just six seconds. It achieves a top track speed of 250 km/h.
Never before has a factory Astra been this fast.
While the Astra OPC is based on the Astra GTC, it has benefitted from a raft of bespoke chassis modifications to cater
for the significant boost in performance brought by the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which produces 206kW of power and
400Nm of torque.
With its dynamics developed by Opel’s engineering team the Astra OPC will target the very best rivals in class for
handling, grip and overall driving excitement.
Setting it apart from all other current Astras is a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential, which
works on the front wheels. In conjunction with the GTC’s sophisticated HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), the LSD
provides the Astra OPC with exceptional lateral grip and traction through the bends.
Further changes to the chassis include brakes developed by competition supplier, Brembo®, standard fitment of Opel’s
fully adaptive FlexRide damping system, uprated springs and new dampers developed between Opel and ZF Sachs.
Mechanical Limited Slip Differential
Drexler, who supply differentials to the motor sport industry, have worked with Opel to develop a mechanical
multi-plate limited slip differential for the Astra OPC.
The unit, derived from that used in the Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition, provides a locking effect with a ramp angle of
45 degrees under acceleration and 90 degrees under deceleration. The locking effect improves traction when it’s needed –
such as under acceleration through bends or over changing cambers and surfaces – but the effect is relaxed off-throttle,
when it’s not required, making the steering more benign.
To cater for the improved traction brought by the LSD, the Astra OPC’s Traction Control (TC) and Electronic Stability
Control (ESP) systems have been re-tuned to ensure the best performance, even when the car is used on track or in wet
OPC and Brembo develop bespoke braking system
With cross-drilled and ventilated 355 x 32mm front discs, four-piston callipers and harder compound brake pads, Opel
and Brembo® have co-developed a bespoke braking system to cater for the Astra OPC’s 206kW performance.
Using ‘floating discs’, the brakes are made from two different materials, with a cast-iron rotor mounted on an
aluminium disc bell. This helps combine the heat resistant properties of cast iron with the lightweight properties of
The key advantages of the system are reduced heat build-up during repeated braking, as well as an improvement in
overall brake feel through the pedal. There has also been a significant weight saving compared with the system found
in the GTC, with each front calliper weighing 5.1 kgs (-2.8 kgs) and each front disc weighing 4.2 kgs less than on the
standard coupe. This means a total reduction of 7 kgs per front corner from the car’s unsprung weight.
The brakes, as well as all other chassis elements, were tested on public roads and in the toughest of environments
including the Nürburgring and Contidrom race tracks in Germany, as well as on ice and snow in Scandanavia, and
in the searing Spanish heat at the Idiada test track.
Springs, dampers, roll bars and bushes all improved for greater performance
Compared with the 1.6-litre, turbocharged GTC model, the Astra OPC’s springs have been stiffened by 30 per cent and
the car lowered by 10mm at the front and rear, to allow more driver connection on road and track.
The Astra’s clever compound crank/Watt’s link rear suspension was also stiffened, as were suspension bushes all round
to cope with the extra chassis loads. The front anti-roll bar’s diameter increased by 5mm over the GTCs, again for added
Working with motor sport manufacturer, ZF Sachs, Opel developed bespoke damper settings for the Astra OPC, using
larger diameter pistons to the GTC’s. The suspension sub-frame also rests on special mounts, the elastic-kinematic nature
of which improves steering agility and support even when subjected to extreme lateral forces through tight bends.
HiPerStruts improve steering feel and help reduce torque-steer
The Astra OPC is equipped with a version of Opel’s HiPerStrut, also found on all GTCs and the Insignia OPC.
By reducing camber change during cornering, the HiPerStruts improve grip, reduce torque-steer significantly and
enhance steering precision, due to a shorter and more compact rotational axis. Each strut has a 44 per cent reduced
kingpin inclination and a spindle length (or kingpin offset) reduced by 46 per cent. This in turn means less camber loss
during cornering, and therefore more grip, while the shorter spindle quells torque-steer reactions.
Standard FlexRide provides drivers with ultimate control
Opel’s FlexRide adaptive damping system is standard on all Astra OPCs. Drivers have the choice of three separate
chassis settings which can be selected at the push of a button. ‘Standard’ delivers all-round performance for a wide
range of road driving, with ‘Sport’ stiffening the dampers for reduced roll and tighter body control.
‘OPC’ is FlexRide’s most extreme mode. Not only does it enhance throttle responsiveness, and change the instrument
backlighting from white to red, but it alters the dampers settings once again. A ramp-control sub-mode further stiffens
the dampers, but ensures that the wheels are in contact with the road instantly after hitting a bump. This means the car
has a soft landing even when the springs on the struts rebound on an uneven surface. Meanwhile, the roll control
sub-mode reduces tilt further during cornering and steering assistance is sharpened.
Three modes of ESP to suit road and track driving
The Astra OPC’s ESP (stability control) system offers three different modes. In its default mode, optimum safety is
prioritised for everyday road conditions. ‘Competitive’ mode raises the threshold at which the automatic systems
intervene, though when it senses a dangerous situation it will stabilise the car via the braking system. Finally, in
‘ESP-off’ mode, activated by pressing the button down for five seconds, the ESP system can be completely deactivated.
Two choices of unique wheel designs
As standard, the Astra OPC is equipped with flow-formed 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli 245/40 ZR tyres front and
rear. However, customers can also opt for state of the art forged alloy 20-inch wheels, which weigh just 1.86 kgs – 14
per cent less than the 20-inch rims available on the GTC model. The forging process used to make the lightweight rim
provides a tougher material, allowing less aluminium to be used in its construction, and therefore reducing weight.
Combined with the savings in weight brought about by the Brembo® discs, opting for the 20-inch rims on the Astra OPC
give drivers a total unsprung weight saving of over 14.5 kgs across the front axle.
Opel’s new Astra OPC will incorporate deliver a class-leading 400Nm of torque, giving it a 0-100 km/h time of just 6.0
seconds and robust mid-range performance.
The Opel’s turbocharged, 2.0-litre direct-injection engine harks from the Insignia family, but while its aluminium
block is similar, the Opel has a unique aluminium cylinder head and new turbocharger to liberate 280hp (up 40hp on the
previous model) and over 200Nm per litre of torque – the highest specific output in its class.
Developing a high-torque engine for the Astra OPC was the key to unlocking the car’s real-world, mid-range
performance, rather than focusing on power alone. And with maximum torque produced on a broad plateau between 2,450 rpm
and 5,000 rpm, OPC drivers will never want for instant acceleration.
An all-new, state-of-the-art intake system was developed to feed as much air into the turbocharger as possible. The
turbocharger itself was also improved to take more charge-air pressure, which builds from as early as 1,400 rpm for
linear and strong acceleration. The maximum charge pressure is now 1.5 bar – 25 per cent more than in the Insignia 2.0T.
Astra OPC drivers can also look forward to a 'soundtrack' that has been carefully engineered to appeal to enthusiasts,
both from inside and outside the car. Drivers will get the full effect in the mid-to-high rev range, especially when they
change up from third to fourth under full throttle.
But outright performance hasn’t come at the expense of efficiency and durability. Like all recent OPC models, the
Astra was subjected to prolonged testing at the Nüburgring’s notorious Nordschleife for 10,000 kilometres under race
conditions – the equivalent to around 180,000 road kilometres.
And while the Astra OPC can accelerate from 0-100 km/h time of 6.0 seconds standard Start/Stop technology has reduced
fuel consumption by 14 per cent (compared with the previous model) to a combined 8.1 litres/100 km, and reduced emissions
All-new engine air intake system
Opel engineers developed a completely new air intake system to improve air flow dynamics, reduce pressure loss and
boost the engine performance even further. The size of the intake air duct was significantly increased, as was the air
cleaner’s volume, reducing intake noise and allowing a greater quantity of air to be processed.
Toughened and more durable turbocharger for quick throttle response
The engine’s turbocharger is based on the twin-scroll principle. This means that in the exhaust manifold and
turbocharger, the channels of the first and fourth cylinders are separated from those on the second and third cylinders.
The pulsating exhaust gases are fed through spirals (scrolls) and brought together directly ahead of the turbine. By
separating the flows, their dynamics are fully exploited.
The build-up of pressure starts as early as around 1,400 rpm. The maximum charge pressure has been increased to 1.5
bar – that represents a 25 per cent increase compared with the one used in the 2.0T Insignia. It was therefore necessary
to make the turbocharger even tougher, more durable and able to withstand the increase in pressure.
Further important features to this compact turbocharger include the pneumatic over-run air valve and an
efficiency-optimised turbine wheel. At a defined vacuum, a valve is opened which leads the air back to the compressor
inlet. This keeps the speed of the charger at a high level. When the accelerator pedal is pressed again, charge pressure
is then immediately available. To increase volumetric efficiency in the combustion chambers, the pre-compressed air is
cooled by around 100 degrees Celsius in an intercooler before entering the chambers.
Optimised exhaust system for even better performance
Engineers also focused on reducing exhaust back pressure as a way of improving engine performance. Both the
closed-couple converter (the catalyst near the engine) and the under-floor converter were tuned to reduce exhaust back
pressure. Along with increasing the bore of the entire exhaust system, Opel’s engineers achieved a 25 per cent overall
reduction in exhaust back pressure, versus the system used in the Insignia 2.0T.
In line with the mechanical changes made to the intake, exhaust and turbocharger, elements of the engine control unit
(ECU) governing charge air pressure, fuel injection rate and ignition were all re-tuned.
For drivers of cars like the Astra OPC, the soundtrack when you accelerate is almost as important as the time it takes
to reach 100 km/h. So needless to say, engineering the right type of engine noise was an important part of the car’s
Using a recent amendment to European noise regulations on pass-by noise – also known as the Lex Ferrari rule –
engineers were able to liberate 75 decibels for the Astra OPC, a full decibel louder than the Astra GTC 1.6T. In order to
pass the Lex Ferrari test, the Astra OPC had to accelerate from 50 km/h to 61 km/h in third gear on a stretch of
road measuring just 15 metres – normally a challenge for all but the most powerful cars.
With an underlying robustness in its character, the engine noise makes the jet-like noise of its predecessor under
mid-to-high revs, when heard from inside the cabin. And thanks to the removal of one of the GTC’s three silencers,
there’s even a distinctive burble at idle.
The twin bumper-integrated tailpipes have parallelogram-shaped openings and are unique in this class.
Nordschleife – the ultimate proving ground!
Before the modified Astra OPC engine could go into production, it was subjected to a series of challenging tests, one
of which was to circulate the Nordschleife segment of the Nürburgring at race speeds for 10,000 kilometres, thought by
Opel to be roughly equal to 180,000 road kilometres.
To achieve this level of durability, the Astra OPC’s engine incorporates some novel features. Its high thermal
endurance is supported by a water jacket which extends to the bottom of the cylinders, as well as oil-spray cooling for
the underside of the pistons. Both camshafts in the engine respond automatically to an electro-hydraulic cam phaser,
matching the valve opening times to the engine load status via the engine control unit. In addition, a higher overlap at
lower speeds with continuously variable camshaft phasing ensures the turbocharger responds more quickly. The outlet
valves are sodium-filled and all valves are actuated via low friction roller valve levers.
Other engine features are two counter-rotating balance shafts, low-maintenance chain drive for the camshafts and a
cast-on oil filter housing, which is easily accessible from above. An oil change simply requires replacing the cartridge
and is signaled by an interval indicator. Sensors measure wear and tear of the fully synthetic lubricant according to
parameters such as the number of cold starts, as well as the overall number of starts.
In every respect, the Astra OPC is a more extreme version of the current GTC, and nothing embodies the visual changes
more than the new model’s exterior design revisions.
Adding extra presence, the Astra OPC gets a specially sculpted front and rear bumper, side skirts, aerodynamic roof
spoiler and twin bumper-integrated tailpipes. Standard 19-inch wheels with 245/40 ZR tyres underpin the dramatic body,
with 20-inch forged items available as an option for those customers who want to make their cars look even bolder.
These Astra OPC colours are examples only and
Carbon Flash Black
Premium Paint – OPC exclusive
are not an
accurate indication of the real colour.
The OPC shares much of its design with the GTC. Only three lines are used to provide tension and define the outline of
the silhouette. A fine, crisp line sweeps downwards from the front door to the bottom of the rear guard; a second line
strikes through the door handle and stretches to the rear, emphasising the car’s dramatic stance and broad 'shoulders'. A
third line follows the roof’s clean, rakish silhouette.
Exterior colours include: Summit White and the optional Carbon Flash Black, Power Red, Flaming Yellow and the OPC
signature colour - Arden Blue.
The centre-piece of the Astra OPC’s cabin is Opel’s flat bottom steering wheel. Its diameter has been reduced from 370
mm to 360 mm compared with all other models in the Astra range, making the steering feel even more precise and direct.
The steering wheel’s grip has been enhanced by packing supple sponge rubber around a magnesium/steel hybrid ring and then
covering the entire wheel in premium, soft cross-stitched leather.
Other OPC-specific features abound, including a unique sports gearlever and alloy-plated pedals with rubber studs for
better foot grip. Glossy piano-black chronograph-inspired dial rings contrast against a satin-black background, while the
wing-shaped upper instrument cluster flows back into the doors and armrests. Black headlining, OPC-branded floor mats,
and door panel stitching in Cool Pearl give the Astra OPC’s interior a purposeful yet exclusive feel.
A new design of front sports bucket seat, made with cutting-edge lightweight material is standard across the Astra OPC
range. Mounted 17mm lower than in the Astra GTC (and 30mm lower than in an Astra Hatch) the seats give front occupants
a heightened sense of connection with the car’s chassis.
Made from a strong but agile polyamide/fibreglass composite, the seat shells are formed using an organic
injection-moulded sheet which due to its strength only needs to be 2mm thick, and contributes to a 45 per cent weight
saving compared with a seat using a conventional shell.
As standard, all Astra OPCs include high-quality Nappa leather seats complete with seat heating, a manually extendable
front seat cushion and electronic lumbar/side-bolster adjustment providing the driver a total of 18 different seat
settings to choose from. As with the Insignia OPC, the Astra OPC seat has been issued with the Aktion Gesunder Rücken
seal of approval for high ergonomic standards.
Opel Astra OPC: Pricing* Summary
Premium Lighting Pack
20" alloy wheels
* Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as
on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are