Based on the Corsa 3-door Sport, the Corsa OPC redefines the meaning of performance in the compact hatch segment of the market. The statistics alone have performance enthusiasts salivating over this exciting small car from Opel OPC.
Maximum power from the 1.6 litre turbocharged and intercooled engine is a healthy 141 kW @ 5850 r/min. Generally what would be described as maximum torque of 230 Nm is available between 1980 and 5800 r/min. The Corsa OPC has a little extra available however with an ‘overboost’ system that can be activated to elevate torque to 266 Nm when a short burst of extra performance is needed, when overtaking for example. Drive is via a six-speed transmission to ensure the best spread of ratios and optimised performance.
In a car that weighs in at 1280 kg this translates into a zero to 100 km/h acceleration time of just 7,2 seconds. Top speed is 225 km/h as measured by the OPC engineering team. Overtaking acceleration from 80 km/h to 120 km/h in fifth gear takes only 6,7 seconds. To top it off, the Corsa OPC’s fuel consumption averages out at a very respectable 7,9 litres per 100 kilometres.
The appearance of the Corsa OPC matches the performance with full advantage taken of the well proportioned styling of the original 3-door Corsa sport to develop the striking styling package for the OPC variant. The Corsa OPC is targeted at a younger group of buyers than other OPC models and this led to the design team taking a more expressive approach – not that any of the OPC models have ever been less than expressive in their styling – in their adaptation of the 3-door Corsa Sport.
The roof spoiler and the revised front- and rear-bumper/valance styling with their distinctive aero gills immediately command attention. A dark shaded diffuser adds aero function and style to the rear view. Moulded side sills complete the transition and blend with the extended front and rear bumpers. In OPC tradition, a colour-keyed crossbar defines the grille. Other unique styling cues are the distinctive side mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels, both accented with a triangular design motif, a motif that is used extensively throughout the vehicle from the front bumper recesses for the fog lights through to the exhaust outlet.
Interior styling is in keeping with the sporty nature of the Corsa OPC. Door sill treatments, the chrome surrounds on the gauges and their red needle indicators are all typical OPC. Air vent surrounds are colour keyed in either silver or blue depending on body and upholstery colour. The steering wheel offers distinct motor sport styling with its squared-off lower edge and coloured ring to mark its top centre position. The leather-covered steering wheel has a thick grip. Bare aluminium pedals, leather gear knob and quality lacquer finish for the centre console provide a quality ambience. The steering is adjustable for both reach and height.
The sports seats fitted to the Corsa OPC are the product of a joint development programme between Opel and specialist seat maker Recaro. They feature integrated head restraints and side airbags. The seats have combination cloth/leather trim with the stitching colour keyed in either blue or silver depending on the body colour of the car. The seats are designed to provide optimum support, especially lateral support, even during the most enthusiastic driving experiences. The driver’s seat is six-way adjustable.
The seats have a race-seat look and break with tradition in that they are based on a plastic shell reinforced with glass fibres rather than a tubular steel frame. The thermoplastic injection process used to manufacture the seats offers far more control over the shape and contour of the seat than is available with a steel frame construction.
The integration of the head restraints and side airbags into the seat ensures a high level of safety. The seats are provided with cut outs to accommodate four point seat belts should the owner wish to fit these. Despite their out and out sports configuration the seats do not impact on functionality or practicality of the rear seats. These new seats feature the familiar Easy-Entry system that offers hassle free access to the rear seats on mass produced Opels.
Interior appointments include: Air conditioner with pollen filter; power front windows with one-touch facility; map reading lights (front); MP3 compatible RDS radio/CD combo with 7 speakers, steering wheel mounted satellite controls and auxiliary input for MP3/iPod players; speed sensitive central door locking; anti-theft immobiliser with ultra sonic sensor; on board computer; triple information display; tyre deflation detection system; cupholders in the centre console and door pockets.
SRS airbags are provided in front of the driver and front seat passenger and in the sides of the front seats. In addition curtain type airbags provide for side impact protection. Isofix child seat attachments are provided on outer rear seat positions.
The key to the sports car like performance of the Corsa OPC is its latest generation 1.6 litre turbo engine. Driven by a process of constant technical evolution, the engineers at OPC continually strive to improve the performance of each successive OPC generation. This process has resulted in enhancements in the induction and exhaust systems of the Corsa OPC that provide a benefit in improved power and torque over the systems used in the Astra OPC and other ‘earlier’ generation OPC models.
The cylinder head, sump, and turbo-specific intake manifold with its side-mounted throttle valve are all made from aluminium. The turbocharger housing is integrated into the exhaust manifold, typical of all modern turbo installations by Opel. This optimised position provides a performance advantage with improved turbine response as well as a weight saving over more traditional turbocharger installations.
The turbocharger is water cooled and is the product of a joint development programme between Opel and Borg Warner Turbo Systems. The system boasts a refined gas flow geometry and the use of the latest generation materials ensures a long service life.
The camshaft timing of the standard four-valve engine is revised with overlap reduced from 232 degrees to 223 degrees and valve lift is also reduced. These adjustments are facilitated by the efficiency of the 1,3 bar induction pressure that ensures an optimised charge for the cylinders.
The compact Corsa OPC engine provides top performance in terms of specific output with its 88 kW per litre of displacement (that equates to 120 hp per litre). In designing the engine Opel engineers ensured that it would be suitable for use with future technologies.
The upstream catalytic converter and the latest engine ECU design allow the Corsa OPC to already meet the stringent Euro 5 emission standard. Requirements for use with compressed natural gas (CNG) and biofuel were also taken into consideration during the design of the engine.
When the Opel OPC engineers set about producing the Corsa OPC a fun driving experience was at the top of the agenda. As a sporty compact car the Corsa Sport already had the appropriate credentials, the OPC chassis team simply needed to build on this base to provide the added levels of balance and agility that are expected from a true performance car.
Technical experts from both the production car team and from special vehicle development at Opel, assisted by engineering specialists from Lotus Engineering, worked on the Corsa Sport to refine this platform as the basis of the Corsa OPC.
Base line chassis tuning was done at the Opel test course in Idiada, Spain. From there development moved to the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Five test cars with various states of chassis tuning were evaluated by a group of experienced chassis engineers. Racing driver and Opel brand ambassador Manuel Reuter was also a regular member of the team.
Key differences on the Corsa OPC compared to the standard Corsa Sport are that the chassis sits 15mm lower to the ground, and a revised rear axle geometry that increases stiffness and decreases the roll rate by 25%. Spring and damper tuning was adjusted accordingly and optimised for the performance nature of this latest car from Opel OPC.
The ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) fitted to other Corsa models was adapted and optimised for the OPC version. The ESP system can be turned off in the event that the driver wants to add further excitement to his driving experience. The full suite of driver aids includes: Brake Assist; Hill Start Assist; Electronic Brake Force Distribution; Straight Line Stability Control; Cornering Brake Control; Traction Control, and Cruise Control.
The specification for the Corsa OPC includes 7.5J X 18 alloy rims fitted with 225/35 R18 tyres. Brakes are massive 308mm ventilated discs at the front and 264 discs at the rear. The brake callipers are finished in trademark OPC blue.
A unique feature of the Corsa OPC in its class is the electro-hydraulic, variable-progressive steering that provides a true sports car feel. The power-assisted system has a ratio of 13:1 in straight ahead driving conditions, an already direct ratio. As the steering angle increases, so does the level of response. With the steering wheel angle at 90 degrees the steering ratio is at 11,8:1. The variable ratio steering is also used to ease parking with the ratio increasing to 13,3:1 to reduce steering effort when large steering inputs are sensed at low speed.
Customers have a choice of five colours: Arden Blue (with blue stitching on seat upholstery); Magma Red; Black Sapphire, Silver Lightning and Sunny Melon – a metallic medium yellow.
The Opel Corsa OPC is covered by 3 year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are 15 000 kilometres and the price includes a 3 year/60 000km service plan.