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First drive: Opel Corsa OPC blows in

Oh baby: Opel is gunning for hot hatch lovers with its $28,990 Corsa OPC.

Tiny Corsa OPC turbo tearaway is welcome baby hot hatch throwback for Opel

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14 Feb 2013

OPEL is counting on the Corsa OPC snaring baby hot hatch buyers with to its rorty performance, manual gearbox and keen pricing.

Kicking off from $28,990 plus on-road costs and on sale in late March or early April due to delays with obtaining Australian Design Rule approval for an optional 18-inch tyre, the Corsa is also the most powerful car in its class.

Along with the 132kW Volkswagen Polo GTI ($27,790), 132kW Skoda Fabia RS ($27,990) and upcoming 134kW Ford Fiesta ST, the Spanish-built baby is expected to lure customers away from the $25,990 100kW Suzuki Swift Sport, $29,740 115kW Citroen DS3 Sport and $36,490 147kW Renault Clio RS 200 – even though the latter is not officially in the OPC (for Opel Performance Centre) Corsa’s class due to not having a sub-$25K model as per VFACTS’ categorisation rules.

Available only in a single, three-door OPC model, the hottest Corsa is fitted with a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 141kW of power at 5850rpm and 230Nm of torque from 1980 to 5800rpm to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

An extra 30Nm of torque is available if needed on short-term overboost.

Far from suffering for not offering an automatic or dual-clutch gearbox, Opel Australia managing director Bill Mott believes the Corsa might benefit from the omission.

“Frankly, we see it as an opportunity,” he told GoAuto at the OPC launch in Sydney this week.

“Most people in this class prefer to change gears themselves.”

To help attract customers, the hatch gains a unique OPC body kit comprising revised bumpers with a different air intake in the front and a new diffuser in the rear, a roof spoiler, side sills, 17-inch alloys, triangular motifs for the side mirrors and fog-light surrounds, and a central exhaust outlet.

Tipping the scales at 1280kg, the Corsa OPC takes 7.2 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill, on the way to a 225km/h top speed. The combined average consumption figure is 7.5 litres per 100km, while the carbon dioxide emissions rating is 175g/km.

With Lotus Engineering helping out, the OPC differs from the standard Corsa by sitting 15mm closer to the ground, boasting a revised rear axle geometry with increased stiffness and decreased roll, and retuned springs and dampers for the MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension.

The stability control system can be fully turned off, uprated disc brakes are fitted (308mm vented up front, 264mm solid in the rear, while the electro-hydraulic rack and pinion steering features variable ratio response.

Standard wheels and tyres are 215/45 R17, with a $1000 optional 18-inch package expected to enjoy a high take-up rate.

For safety, buyers receive six airbags (front, front-side and curtain), ABS anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, cornering brake control, traction control, a pedal release system to minimise feet injury in a severe frontal impact, and active front headrests.

Additionally, the OPC includes climate control air-conditioning, auto-on/off headlights and wipers, a trip computer, powered front windows, remote central locking, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with reach and rake adjustability, Recaro sports front seats, leather trim, a sprinkling of aluminium highlights and powered mirrors.

Besides the 18-inch alloys, the only other option is $595 metallic paint. White is standard red, yellow, black and blue cost extra, and the latter is specific to this model in Corsa.

While Opel is confident the OPC will find a market (especially among young and single males), it won’t reveal volume expectations – except to say that sales may account for around 20 per cent of total Corsa volume.

, , , Opel Corsa OPC pricing*, , , , , ,
Corsa 3D OPC$28,990


*Plus on-road costs

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