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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
Rumors of a Chevrolet Cruze 3-door hatchback appear to be just that, after an interview with General Motors North American President Mark Reuss surfaced, stating that the Cruze is too late in its North American product cycle for a hatchback.
On the other hand, reports are emerging that Buick may get a hatchback version of the Opel Astra GTC, which could end up being a variant of the Verano (shown above). The new car is expected to bow in 2014, and hopefully the Verano Turbo’s 2.0L 4-cylinder making 250 horsepower is offered. Buick will have to plan carefully for this product, as GM’s Saturn division has already tried importing a version of the Astra, and was met with an utterly dismal response from consumers.
[Source: GM Inside News]
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
Buick‘s version of the Chevrolet Cruze, known in China as the Excelle, has been caught undisguised again, this time in sporty GT trim. The Excelle uses the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Astra, and even uses the same 1.4L, 138 horsepower turbo four-cylinder, but the Excelle also gets a bigger, 1.6L version that makes 180-horsepower, and there’s even a rumored 200-horsepower turbo version (ostensibly the same engine used in the Buick Regal turbo).
Buick is clawing its way back in North America, but the brand is immensely popular in China. Buick has been in China since the early 1900′s, and Chinese emporers in the pre-Communist era drove them, making Buick the car to have. Buick’s reputation managed to survive decades of Communist brain-washing, as the brand enjoy an 85 percent recognition rate in China. With a rising, affluent middle-class looking to buy their first cars, the small, efficient and well made Excelle should be a home run when it comes to market later this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing it make its way Stateside too.