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Despite its decision to shutter Australian auto manufacturing in 2017, General Motors’ Holden subsidiary will continue to engineer, test and develop vehicles in the country.
German automaker Opel revealed the specifications and pricing on its hot new OPC today which has us hoping it might, in some form, make it to the U.S. market.
That might seem like a pipe dream, but the GM-owned company already has its hands in the American market by way of the Buick Regal, which since 2009 has essentially been, well, a re-badged Opel. The 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant in the OPC packs 277 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in a stylish body that could probably have a home in our sport compact market. The Opel OPC rungs from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in six seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
Riding on a FlexRide chassis, Opel incorporated a mechanical limited-slip differential and high performance struts (HiPerStruts) for the front-wheel drive sports car. Two driving modes are available: Sport and OPC. On the inside, Opel outfits the OPC interior with race seats, incorporating weight-saving material seen for the first time in a production vehicle. In total, each seat weighs 45 percent less than a conventional one and still boasts up to 18 different configurations.
The OPC will launch in Germany this spring with a starting price of around $44,890 (€34,250) including value-added tax.
If the performance parts aren’t enough to pique interest, it might be worth nothing that the Astra OPC recently endured a 6,213-mile test on the Nürburgring which equates to 111,846 miles in a normal driving environment. You can watch a video of the car below.
GALLERY: Opel Astra OPC
Opel and Vauxhall have announced the lineup of debuts for the upcoming 2012 Geneva Motor Show, with the highly-anticipated Astra OPC/VXR headlining the booth.
The aggressively designed Astra OPC/VXR will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0L powerplant with 277-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and will also sport High Performance Struts (HiPerStruts), a FlexRide chassis, and lightweight bucket seats in the interior.
Next on Opel’s list will be its new Mokka crossover which is based on the Buick Encore. It will be released with three different engine choices available, a standard gas 1.6L with 113-hp, a turbocharged 1.4L with 138-hp and a 1.7L CDTI diesel with 128-hp. Front-wheel drive will be standard on the new Mokka, but all-wheel drive will be an option. Opel also mentioned in their release that all Mokka models will come with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), and Hill Descent Control (HDC) as standard.
The Insignia BiTurbo was also announced as a debut, featuring a 2.0L twin-turbo diesel engine with 192-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Not exactly automotive related, but Opel and Vauxhall will also show off a RAD e electric bike concept. They described it as the “first e bike to be built around automotive construction and production principles.” The RAD e electric bike will show off a 250-watt motor that can give it an electric-assisted range of 37-90 miles.
Opel will also have refreshed variants of their Corsa, Meriva, and Astra at the show including their Corsa Kaleidoscope edition, a Meriva 1.4 LPG Turbo ecoFLEX model and an Astra 1.4 LPG Turbo ecoFLEX model.
GALLERY: Opel / Vauxhall Geneva Lineup Preview
Vauxhall revealed its hot new hatch, looking to take away some of the spotlight from Ford’s Focus and Fiesta ST. The brand new VXR hatchback is the fastest and most powerful production vehicle from Vauxhall yet, boasting 280-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Vauxhall is also claiming that their new VXR hatchback will have a top speed of 155-mph.
The new VXR hatchback is based on the popular Astra GTC but sports much more aggressive styling to go with its uber-powerful engine. In addition, Vauxhall ensures us that the VXR will receive unique chassis modifications and a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential compared to its GTC counterpart.
The changes doesn’t stop there, as the VXR will be equipped with beefy Brembo brakes and Vauxhall’s FlexRide system, offering a Sport and VXR mode that will adjust damper, throttle and steering control. On the inside, performance bucket seats, a flat-buttoned steering wheel and VXR badging separates it from the GTC.
GALLERY: Vauxhall Astra VXR Hatchback
For quite some time now, GM executives in North America have been contemplating distributing Opel’s Astra GTC as a Buick in America. Now there’s a chance that the three-door, sporty vehicle could even be produced in America.
In order to satisfy the UAW, GM has plans to build an additional compact car at an unnamed plant in America, which points fingers at the Astra GTC. Though it’s all speculation right now, GM has been committing to reopening its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant and with the addition of the new compact’s production, could generate 500 new jobs. Could Buick’s version of the Astra GTC be rolling off the Tennessee assembly line by early 2013? We’ll just have to wait and see.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Opel is set to make an impression as this year’s Frankfurt Show which takes place on September 15th to the 25th. Their main focus will be the surprise debut of an experimental car which Opel claims will emphasize the passion for driver-focused vehicles.
In addition, the booth will host the world debuts of the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer minivan models. They will also show off the Ampera, the first electric vehicle catered to everyday European use, and seven new ecoFLEX models.
We’ve already taken an in-depth look at the Astra GTC model, while the Zafira Tourer is a stylish minivan featuring a completely redesigned Flex7 seating system and will reach UK showrooms in early 2012. The Ampera is basically the European version of the Chevrolet Volt, while the ecoFLEX models will include the following: Agila 1.0 petrol, Meriva 1.3 CDTi, Astra 1.7 CDTi, Insignia 1.4 Turbo petrol, Insignia 2.0 CDTi, and ecoFLEX versions of the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer.
Vauxhall’s Astra GTC is poised to take on the European market with its sleek, stylish design and compact body. More importantly, its price point will really give Volkswagen’s Scirocco and Renault’s Megane Coupe some serious competition. Vauxhall announced that their 2012 Astra GTC will be available with four different four-cylinder powerplants, one of them being a diesel. The most powerful will be a 1.6L turbo with 178-hp while their 2.0L diesel will sport 163-hp. Economy seekers will have two choices, a 1.4L, one with 118-hp and another with 138-hp.
The GTC will start at $30,425 (USD) while its top of the line will come in at close to $37,000. All Astra GTCs will come complete with a 100,000-mile warranty. Vauxhall’s focus for the Astra GTC includes their HiPerStrut technology that can be seen on the Insignia VXR. Thorough testing and tuning puts ensures that the Astra GTC benefits from tight handling and control.
Ironically enough, the GTC shares no actual body panels from its Astra Hatch or Sports Tourer counterparts. High-end options will include standard tinted glass, onboard computer, leather-trimmed steering wheel and fog lamps. For the entry-level Sport trim, the GTC will come with 18-inch wheels standard, DAB stereo and USB functionality.
GALLERY: Vauxhall Astra GTC
Vauxhall has turned to Lotus for help with their chassis engineering on their upcoming Astra VXR hot hatch. The input from Lotus will supplement the work done by GM division Opel, which is testing the car on German roads.
Lotus has a long tradition of helping third-party manufacturers with their handling and chassis development. Prototypes of cars such as the Nissan GTR were seen at the Lotus test track early on in their development, and Lotus previously helped out with the outgoing Astra VXR.
With the newest edition expected to put down close to 300 horsepower through the front wheels, Lotus has apparently been tasked with tuning the mechanical limited slip fitted to the car. Lotus will ostensibly have to strike a balance between outright performance and quelling the massive torque-steer from the VXR’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
You really don’t want to crash at the Nürburgring. Seems like a pretty obvious statement, right? Well it is, but not necessarily for the reasons you may be thinking. The ‘Ring may be one of the most feared racetracks in the world, with its 13+ miles of twists, turns and elevation changes, but the most frightening part of lapping the most famous course on Earth is the potential damage bill if you hit the wall. Forget fixing your car, that comes second to repairing the Armco barriers you’ve just dented. How big can that bill get? Hit the jump to find out.
“Cheeky” Saturn Contest winner announced
With almost 8,000 out of 25,000 votes, Dana Roberts of Gilroy, CA was chosen as the “cheeky” winner of Saturn’s “Kiss my Astra” photo contest. As the Grand Prize Winner Dana was awarded a brand new Saturn Astra.
Several other prizes were also awarded, with $300 gift cards going to the first five runners up, and all remaining finalists receiving a $100 gift card.
The contest was kicked off earlier this year with Vice Chairman of Global Product Development Bob Lutz submitting the first photo.
See Bob Lutz kissing Astra, after the jump: