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With pics and details of the new Opel Astra GTC already posted online, there’s probably little point in dressing it up in camouflage at this point, unless of course, it’s something a little more interesting, like an OPC version.

For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym OPC, it stands for the Opel Performance Centre. Based in Russelsheim, Germany, OPC is an independent subsidiary of the German automotive maker Opel and is responsible for the planning and development of all motorsport activities for the Opel/Vauxhall group in Europe.

The centre also does road-going cars under the ‘Opel OPC’ badge, and as you might have guessed, they aren’t your average garden variety Opel, or in this case, Astra.

Our spy shot photographers have caught on camera, what appears to be a hard core version of the Opel Astra OPC with what is believed to be a 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo charged engine under the bonnet producing around 225kW or 300hp in the old school.

Putting all that power down through the front wheels can be an issue as we all know, but not for this Astra it won’t be. The OPC version is said to use a mechanical Quaife-type differential instead of the previous generation’s electronic limited slip differential. That’s probably the same unit as fitted to the Focus RS, as it won’t ever lock up completely.

The chassis is supposed to be ‘very track focused’ and more hard-core that the current OPC Astra and gets large Brembo brakes that can deal with late braking.

The front spoiler will be deeper and more aggressive with wider air intakes. There will be a larger rear spoiler (call it a wing) and a fat exhaust pipe on each side of a diffuser will round out the aero package.

The hot Astra from OPC is not expected in European showrooms until mid 2012 and US fans might get it in the form of a ‘hot’ Buick.

With the Opel brand entering the Australian market in 2012 with most likely three models; the Astra, Corsa and Insignia, we can only hope a few OPC versions make it out here too.




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