Cars - Opel

Road tests and reviews of the latest Opel models available in South Africa

2016 Opel Corsa OPC

2016 Opel Corsa OPC

By Franky Johnson

Opel took the wraps off the new Corsa OPC, its ultra-powerful small hot-hatch, at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Benefiting from the significant revisions in technology, interior/exterior design and chassis showcased in the recently launched New Corsa, the OPC is set to raise the bar for small, fast hatchbacks.

First launched in 2007, the Corsa OPC is now in its second generation.

The Corsa OPC’s list price has been rolled back versus the outgoing model. It’s also less expensive than key competitors including the Volkswagen Polo GTi, the Renault Sport Clio and the Ford Fiesta ST2.

Customers can now buy an OPC Performance Pack for which specs the Corsa OPC up to a Nürburgring/Clubsport equivalent, but for much less than the previous model. The pack features a motorsport-derived Drexler Limited Slip Differential (LSD), Brembo four-piston brakes and re-tuned Koni FSD system above the standard set up.

POWERTRAIN

  • 151kW and up to 280Nm from powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged engine
  • 0-100kph in 6.6 seconds; top speed 230kph
  • Precise and fast gear change thanks to short throw shifter
Headline performance figures for the Corsa OPC are 0-100kph in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 230kph – quicker than the outgoing car, but more importantly the OPC produces its 245Nm of torque from lower revs (between 1,900rpm – 5,800rpm, compared with 2,250rpm – 5,500rpm for the outgoing Nürburgring and ClubSport models). This makes the OPC a potent performer between 80-120kph, which it can dispatch in just 6.4 seconds in fifth gear.

An overboost facility provides an additional 35Nm of torque, ideal for swift and safe overtaking. Maximum power from its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is 151kW, while the Corsa OPC achieves 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 174g/km.

Development

Opel’s powertrain engineers had to re-develop numerous components in the OPC’s engine to achieve its impressive performance values.

“We initially thought that the Nürburgring Edition of the Corsa OPC represented the end of the line from a developmental point of view,” said Volker Strycek, Opel/Opel’s Director Performance Cars and Motorsport.

“But the new Corsa OPC actually makes its predecessors look almost ordinary. Improved power delivery across the entire rev band, more power especially at low revs and moderate consumption for a car with this performance including compliance with Euro-6 emissions standard make the Corsa OPC a benchmark in its class.”

Engineers constructed a completely new intake line leading to the turbocharger. A new intercooler is also used. New fuel injectors, controlled by the new engine management system, ensure an even finer and more precise delivery of fuel. This results in a noticeable improvement in responsiveness, especially at low engine speeds, and optimised power output at higher engine speeds.

The exhaust system is almost completely new. Working with exhaust specialists Remus, Opel engineers developed a new exhaust manifold with an integrated turbocharger.

They also sound engineered to Lex Ferrari, a rule on pass-by-noise. An amendment in the European regulation allows performance cars over 140kW output and 75kW/ton to produce one extra decibel. The Corsa OPC twin-pipe exhaust is exactly in line with legal pass-by-noise regulations.

Transmission

As before, power is delivered to the front wheels via a second-generation six-speed transmission with a short, fluid gear change. The gearbox features a new design shift lever, shift cable and bearing cap with adjusted end stops. This helps reduce shift travel by 13 per cent versus this outgoing model.

CHASSIS

  • New chassis including Koni FSD technology
  • Two stage ESP offered for this first time
  • Optional Performance Pack also available
Opel has worked closely with damper-supplier, Koni, to develop a new technology, known as Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) for the new Corsa OPC.

FSD allows damping forces to adapt to the car’s movements, ensuring that body control is maintained when the car is driven fast, but ride quality is optimised at lower speeds. The systems is an entirely mechanical solution and does not require any electronic components such as sensors, cables or engine control units. In addition, the car’s ride height has been lowered by 10mm all round.

There’s also a new rear axle with new geometry for a modified roll rate. In combination with a new torsion profile rod, this results in improved responsiveness compared to the outgoing model. The Corsa OPC’s spring rates, anti-roll bars, rear-axle bearing bushes are also new or revised.

For the first time, Opel is offering a two-stage switchable electronic stability programme (ESP) and traction control (TC) with the Corsa OPC. In Competition Mode the traction control is inactive, while the ESP is relaxed to allow less intervention. For track use, the ESP can be fully disabled.

“A high degree of driving involvement was our priority right from the start of development,” said Volker Strycek, Opel/Opel’s Director Performance Cars & Motorsport.

Revisions have been made to the new Corsa OPC’s steering, making it more direct and precise, with improved feedback through the wheel. Michelin 215/45 R17 tyres are standard, as are 308mm front brake discs.

Performance Package

For Corsa OPC customers keen to enhance their car’s dynamics still further, Opel is offering an optional Performance Package, which includes certain features previously seen in the outgoing Nürburgring and ClubSport models. Priced keenly at £2,400, highlights include a Drexler limited-slip differential, larger 330mm-diameter Brembo front brake discs, 18-inch alloy wheels with super sticky Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres and more focused FSD damper settings.

“The Performance Pack is the Corsa OPC’s entry ticket for the race track,” added Strycek.

DESIGN & EQUIPMENT

  • New Corsa OPC interior and exterior styling
  • Six exterior colours and bi-xenon headlamps
  • Heated front windscreen and IntelliLink as standard
Standard bi-xenon lighting and a choice of six exterior colours help the new Corsa OPC stand out in its class. An aggressive new front-end design features large air intakes and an aluminium-framed opening below the headlights. A small scoop is located below the bonnet and side-sill extensions enhance the Corsa OPC’s performance credentials still further. At the rear, a rear spoiler provides meaningful downforce over the back axle, and twin Remus exhaust pipes further distinguish it from regular Corsas.

Six exterior colours – including Flash Blue, which is unique to the Corsa OPC – are available for the Corsa OPC. The car’s cabin has standard Recaro seats, a leather, flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports pedals, as well as a OPC gear-lever and instruments. A heated front windscreen and Intellilink connectivity for Apple iOS and Android smartphones are also standard.

Equipment

In addition to the Performance Pack, other new options for Corsa OPC are the OPC Carbon Pack which will include carbon fibre effect mirrors covers and front grille logo bar priced at £150.

A Panoramic glass sunroof is also now available which was only previously available on the Corsa OPC Arctic Edition.

Also available is the OPC Technical Pack which includes forward collision alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, following distance indicator, electro-chromatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Standard equipment includes:

  • OPC rear roof spoiler
  • OPC sports front grille and air dam/bumper
  • OPC side sills
  • OPC rear bumper incorporating diffuser
  • Dual Remus exhaust system
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Bi-xenon headlights
  • Recaro shell-backed cloth sports front seats with Morrocana-trimmed side bolsters and integral head restraints
  • Three-spoke flat-bottomed leather covered sports steering wheel
  • Unique OPC instrument panel with stepper motor speedometer and tachometer
  • Unique short-throw OPC gear lever
  • Sports pedals
  • OPC alloy-effect door sill covers
  • Heated windscreen
  • IntelliLink infotainment system
  • Remote control security alarm system
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control and trip computer

Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Keep up with us on Pinterest Join our Google Plus circle Join us on Tumblr