The most powerful version of the Astra yet has been expected given that Opel is focusing on the Astra nameplate’s recognition to build the profile of the German brand in Australia.
Opel’s rival for the likes of the RenaultSport Megane Trophee, Volkswagen Scirocco R and Subaru WRX will arrive in early 2013, with pricing to be announced closer to its launch.
“Australia has a long history of, and passion, for performance vehicles,” said Opel Australia boss Bill Mott. “Since launch we’ve continually been asked if and when OPC is coming and we are very excited to confirm that the Astra OPC will be in Sydney next week and will be available in our showrooms next year.”
With 206kW produced from its 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder, the Opel Astra OPC will offer more power than the 195kW RS265, 188kW Scirocco R and 195kW WRX.
It’s quick off the mark, too, with a 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds dead.
The OPC is based on the sportier, three-door version of the Opel Astra, called the GTC.
In addition to the more powerful engine up front, it also includes lowered, more aggressive bodywork, trapezoidal exhaust pipes, 19-inch alloy wheels and a front mechanical limited-slip differential that works in conjunction with a so-called HiPerStrut front suspension to help improve traction and handling.
The Opel Astra OPC also features a variable three-mode damper system and Brembo brakes.
Hot-hatch touches inside include bucket-style front seats with race-harness slots (though conventional seatbelts are fitted and a flat-bottomed steering wheel that is smaller than those fitted to other Astras.
Opel officially launched in Australia in September to become a General Motors sister brand to Holden, with initial models comprising the Opel Corsa city car, Opel Astra small car and Opel Insignia medium car.
The Opel Mokka compact SUV is also expected, in 2013, to further expand the brand’s line-up.
Click to read CarAdvice’s review of the Opel Astra OPC.