Car reviews - Opel - Corsa - OPC
Keen handling, feisty performance, composed chassis, promising value
Room for improvement
We drove it on a track for only two laps – boo!
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13 Feb 2013
CONFESSION time. We didn’t drive the Corsa OPC on any Australian roads – or through any alleys, streets, highways, motorways, freeways or autobahns.
According to Opel, there is just one example in this country, as the car has only recently cleared all its automotive immigration requirements.
So it seemed more than a bit incongruous, then, that a group of motoring journalists would be let loose to drive flat out on a racetrack in such a rare beast.
But we did, at first with middling curiosity and then genuine interest, as we strapped ourselves inside the supportive and comfortable Recaro racing bucket seats, ahead of a solid and sensible dash, among spacious surroundings, at Eastern Creek raceway for two fast laps around a tight new course (and a couple of runs between some tightly placed witches hats).
What we can tell you is that the engine pulls far harder than it meagre capacity would suggest, putting the OPC in league with something like the Clio RS rather than the Swift Sport. Revalicious!
The six-speed manual shifter, too, is pleasant to use the steering tips into turns with eagerness and control and – through a quick slalom test – the handling is right on the money while the brakes pulled up with reassuring poise.
What we’re saying, then, is that this Corsa OPC upstart might be a bit of a bargain, since it seems feistier than a Polo, almost as agile as a Clio RS, and looks decent decked out in a body kit and Arden Blue paint.
Actually, we were quite astonished how much fun the little Opel might potentially be, after the lacklustre performance of the base 1.4 model.
We look forward to getting to know the OPC better ASAP.
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