Before the new one lands, we had to try the latest Astra OPC around.

Opel’s Astra OPC might not immediately ring a bell for many of you readers and that’s a damn shame. Why? Because it’s simply put a very, very good car. I got in touch with an owner and he entrusted me with his 2013 Astra OPC. Slightly chipped to 300 horsepower, nearly full option and running on 19″ inch. Yup, I was really looking forward to this car.

And for good reason I discovered almost instantly after getting the keys pressed in my hands. I walked up to this curved blue beast and realised Opel did an excellent job at picking the Astra GTC as the bases for the OPC. Its design is refreshing, the OPC exterior kit brutal and the exhausts look ready to spit flames.

astra opc

What the exterior doesn’t reveal is the marvel of engineering that lies between the two front wheels: a mechanical differential. These things are game-changers when calibrated correctly and it is the Astra OPC. No torque-steer, no shaking in the drivetrain and the grip during cornering is phenomenal. I would have probably ended up in the passenger seat if I tried cornering it any harder. And if seats weren’t as surprisingly supportive as they were.

With induction-sounds hissing, the exhaust throwing out the gasses, its engine is enjoyable noisy company. One that listens very well and does exactly what you want. The horsepower and 400 Nm are widely available and even ready at low revs. Ready to push the car to a hundred in a measured 5.5 seconds. I had a hard time maintaining socially acceptable speeds during my time with this bomb.

So the downsides? Well it’s heavy, coming in at around 1600 kilograms. It was a frustrating thing to experience as the car would have been even better without all those kilograms. And there’s its mileage, this 2.0-liter enige is a true gas-guzzeler.

To sum it all up: Opel knows what they’re doing, this being a testimony to their capabilities. Keep an eye on Opel Performance Center, I sure am.