Opel Corsa OPC (2008)



Opel Corsa OPC

Opel is shifting into top gear with the new Opel Corsa OPC. Following the sensational market launch of the Opel bestseller's fourth generation, the OPC version is now the quintessential expression of the Corsa's dynamic character. Top-level agility and vehicle control ensure pure Opel Corsa driving fun. Its 1.6-liter turbo engine with 141 kW/192 hp accelerates the compact three-door from zero to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and enables a top speed of 225 km/h. The maximum torque of 230 Nm is delivered to the front wheels by the standard six-speed transmission. In addition, the standard 'overboost' system can temporarily increase torque by around 15 percent to 266 Nm when required, providing a corresponding dynamics increase. This level of performance provides the newest member of the sporty OPC family, which now includes six models, with superb propulsion power in all driving situations. For instance, accelerating from 80 to 120 km/h takes just 6.7 seconds in fifth gear. The Opel Corsa OPC requires 7.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, a moderate figure in this performance class.

Design: Reminiscence of motor sport vehicles

The sporty lines of the three-door Corsa are even more striking in the OPC variant. The roof spoiler, as well as the powerful front and rear aprons with distinctive gills make the OPC a real eye-catcher. Elements such as the darkly contrasting diffuser with integrated, centrally located triangular tailpipe and specially designed exterior mirrors are just a few examples of how much attention to detail was put into further developing the Corsa's bold, sporty character.

Sportiness also dominates the Opel Corsa OPC's cockpit. In addition to the typical OPC door sills, chrome-ringed instruments with red pointers and − depending on upholstery color − blue or silver-ringed air vents, the flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel is especially eye-catching. Also reminiscent of motor sport vehicles, the steering wheel features a ring at its crown, while the center console in piano lacquer finish and aluminum pedals underline the sporty, high quality ambience. The sports seats with integrated head restraints are a joint new development by Opel and Recaro. These race-car-like seats provide optimal side support and protect both the driver and front passenger with integrated side airbags, which are integrated into the seat back − a first for a series production folding body-contoured seat.

Chassis tuned on Nürburgring Nordschleife

The Opel Corsa OPC's chassis has a unique, even sportier character thanks to extensive modifications. Through intensive tuning drives on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, engineers were able to achieve a sophisticated balance of agile handling and pronounced vehicle control. Key modifications include a stronger rear axle profile, which increases the roll rate by 25 percent, new spring/dampener tuning and a lowering of the body by 15 mm. The standard ESP system, which can be deactivated, has also been tuned to the car's sporty character. The new Opel Corsa OPC comes with 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tires ex works, while 18-inch rims and size 225 tires are available as an option. The large 16-inch brake system with blue painted brake calipers ensures strong deceleration: the Opel Corsa OPC boasts internally ventilated, 308 mm front disk brakes and 264 mm disk brakes at the rear.

Variable-progressive steering for sports car feeling

A unique feature for this class is the Opel Corsa OPC's variable-progressive steering, which provides a true sports car feeling. With a ratio of 13:1 during straight-ahead driving, the system response is already very direct. As the turning angle increases, so does the level of direct response, so that by 90 degrees the ratio is at 11.9:1. The variable progression also ensures that the response ratio increases again at greater steering-wheel angles to up to 13.1:1, reducing the effort needed for maneuvering or parking.

Broad range of OPC models

The introduction of the Corsa expands Opel's OPC program to six models. The top-of-the-line Vectra OPC with a V6 turbo and 206 kW/280 hp is available as a sedan or station wagon. The Zafira OPC − the fastest production van in the world with a top speed of 231 km/h − and the Astra OPC both have a 177 kW/240 hp, two-liter turbo engine. The Meriva OPC is powered by an engine similar to that of the Opel Corsa OPC: with 132 kW/180 hp and a top speed of over 220 km/h, the versatile five-seater is unique in the minivan segment. "The OPC models are high-performance cars that infuse the brand with emotion and passion. That is why the OPC version fits brilliantly to the new Corsa, which is positioned as a young car offering plenty of fun," says Alain Visser, Executive Director, European Opel Marketing.

Design: Expressive Styling with a Passion for Geometry

The OPC model range has never been so wide and varied. This gave the design team the opportunity to design an extraordinary car with the Opel Corsa OPC. OPC Designer Ulli Hochmuth − responsible for shaping Opel's sportiest cars since 1999 − says, "The Corsa OPC is aimed at a considerably younger target group than most of its model family. That's why we styled the Corsa's sporty lines to be more expressive. We wanted to create an unmistakable driving machine."

Powerful front and rear aprons with distinctive gills give the compact, bold-looking sporty car a powerful stance, while the rear spoiler and darkly contrasting diffuser in the rear bumper ensure good looks and downforce. The front and rear are united by a sporty modeled side sill and as in other OPC models, the color-keyed crossbar is a distinctive characteristic of the radiator grille.

Attention to detail was just as important for the designers as the expressive styling, which is apparent from the repeated use of the triangle. In the Opel Corsa OPC, designers make use of this shape in a variety of places: from the radiator grille structure and the fog lamp frames to the perfect, centrally located triangular tailpipe integrated in the rear bumper. The two clips on the unique, thin exterior mirrors form a triangle and the spokes on the special, finely crafted 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels are also triangular. Even the rubber grips on the aluminum pedals are easily recognizable as Opel Corsa OPC parts.

Sportiness also dominates the Opel Corsa OPC's cockpit. In addition to the typical OPC door sills, chrome-ringed instruments with red pointers and − depending on upholstery color − blue or silver-ringed air vents, the flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel is especially eye-catching. Also reminiscent of motor sport vehicles, the steering wheel features a ring at its crown, while the center console in piano lacquer finish and aluminum pedals underline the sporty, high quality ambience. The sports seats with integrated head restraints are a joint new development by Opel and Recaro. These race-car-like seats provide optimal side support and protect both the driver and front passenger with integrated side airbags.

Chassis: Thorough Sporty Tuning On the Nürburgring

Pure driving fun was at the top of the agenda during the Opel Corsa OPC chassis' design. The sporty, compact car therefore boasts an appropriately sophisticated balance of agile handling and pronounced vehicle control. The technology team, consisting of specialists from series production and special vehicle development, used the Corsa Sport's technical basis to develop an even sportier setup, assisted by Lotus Engineering experts. The base tuning was set on the test course in Idiada, Spain, and then development moved to the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Five test cars with various fine-tunings were compared by experienced chassis engineers. Racing car driver and brand ambassador Manuel Reuter was also a regular test crew member. The data obtained from the circuit was continuously checked for its everyday suitability on the Eifel Mountains' country roads around the Nürburgring, and there were also calibration drives at Opel's test center in Pferdsfeld. The final check was an endurance test of a special kind: over just ten days, the Opel Corsa OPC had to prove its durability with a 10,000 kilometer hardness test on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Key elements of the OPC's chassis, which has been lowered by 15 mm compared to the base Corsa variants, include a stronger rear axle profile that increases the roll rate by 25 percent. The spring/dampener tuning was adjusted accordingly and an optimum characteristic chosen for the gas-pressure shock absorbers. The standard ESP system, which can be deactivated, was also tuned to the car's sporty character. The new Corsa OPC comes with 7 J x 17 alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tires ex works, while 7.5 J x 18 rims and size 235/35 R 18 tires are available as an option. The large 16-inch brake system with blue painted brake calipers ensures strong deceleration: the Opel Corsa OPC boasts internally ventilated, 308 mm front disk brakes and 264 mm disk brakes at the rear.

Variable-progressive steering for sports car feeling

A unique feature for this class is the Opel Corsa OPC's variable-progressive steering, which provides a true sports car feeling. With a ratio of 13.0:1 during straight-ahead driving, the system response is already very direct. As the turning angle increases, so does the level of direct response, so that by 90 degrees the ratio is at 11.8:1. The variable progression also ensures that the response ratio increases again at greater steering-wheel angles to up to 13.3:1, reducing the effort needed for maneuvering or parking.

Engine: High Performance Density, Even More Torque with Overboost

The Opel Corsa OPC's turbo engine produces 141 kW/192 hp at 5850 rpm. Compared to the Meriva OPC and current turbo variants in the Astra generation, the induction air and exhaust gas routing has been further optimized. This not only improves the engine's maximum power output, but also its propulsion power. The maximum torque of 230 Nm, available across a wide range between 1980 and 5850 rpm, is delivered to the front wheels by the standard six-speed transmission. In addition, the standard 'overboost' system can temporarily increase torque by around 15 percent to 266 Nm when required, providing a corresponding dynamics increase.

These elements all combine to give the most compact OPC model driving performance like a sports car. The turbo engine accelerates the Corsa from zero to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and enables a top speed of 225 km/h, while quick intermediate sprints highlight the high level of torque: accelerating from 80 to 120 km/h takes the three-door car just 6.7 seconds in fifth gear. The Opel Corsa OPC requires 7.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, a moderate figure in this performance class.

The clever, light construction is a distinguishing characteristic of the standard engine. Including the aluminum bearing cover, the grey cast iron block weighs only 27 kg. Using this material also saves on extensive, heavy noise reduction measures around the engine.

The cylinder head, sump and turbo-specific induction manifold with side-mounted throttle valve in the Opel Corsa OPC are all made from aluminum. The turbocharger housing is integrated into the cast exhaust manifold − an Opel-typical design and optimal for the turbocharger's weight and fast reaction. The water-cooled turbocharger was developed jointly by Opel and specialists BorgWarner Turbo Systems (previously KKK).

It boasts refined stream geometry, improved materials and a longer service life. At 131 kg, the high-performance engine is extremely light and only 15 kg heavier than the aspirated variant. New turbo engines from competitors in this displacement class are up to 15 kg heavier.

The four-valve engine's valve timing has also been optimized. Compared to the aspirated engine, the camshaft spread was decreased from 232° to 223° and the valve stroke reduced from 8.5/9.5 mm to 7 mm, as the maximum overpressure of 1.3 bar from the turbocharger automatically ensures good charge. With a cutoff rpm of 6500, the direct valve travel via flat-base tappets is weight and friction optimized.

With a bore/stoke ratio of 79/81.5 mm and 1598 cm3 displacement, the compact OPC engine provides top performance in terms of specific output (88 kW/120 hp per liter of displacement) and specific torque (144 Nm/liter). The unit is also well suited for the future. The upstream catalytic converter and the new engine control unit used in hybrid technology already meet the requirements for the upcoming Euro 5 emissions standard. The requirements for natural gas (CNG) and biofuel (alcohol) operation were also taken into consideration during design.

Seats: Sporty Body-Contoured Design, New Geometry

With plenty of side support − the most important element of any sport seat − ideal suitability for long journeys and high levels of seating comfort for passengers of all statures, the Opel Corsa OPC's front seats are truly multi-talented. Developed jointly by Opel and Recaro, they not only look like race-car seats, but are also based on a plastic shell. The advantage of this design is that contouring and pressure distribution can be better controlled than in conventional, mass-produced, steel-framed passenger-car seats. Corsa seats are produced by a thermoplastic injection molding process, with glass fibers to reinforce the plastic.

The integration of head restraints and side airbags ensures a high level of safety. Corresponding cutouts in the seat backs allow four-point safety belts to be retrofitted. There is no reduction in the level of practical suitability, as the new OPC seats feature the familiar Easy-Entry function for trouble-free access to the rear. Height adjustment is fitted as standard, as are heated seats for the optional full nappa leather interior.

The new seating geometry combines good side support with a comfortable sitting position. "We designed the seat surface so that it's narrower at the rear for a good body posture and wider at the front so the legs have plenty of room," says Armin Roßmann, Design Engineer. The shape was designed with the help of the computer-based human model RAMSIS. Ergonomics and long-journey suitability were assessed by seat specialists in a range of different practical tests. These included using sensors in the prototype cars on long trips to objectively determine whether the driver sits comfortably in one position or not. If the driver then keeps the position over long distances, the ergonomics are ideal.

The new OPC seat passed this test with flying colors, as well as another obligatory check: employees of different statures tried out the seat on special stretches of Opel's test center in Dudenhofen. They then gave marks for criteria such as entry, seating position, cornering and lumbar support. The side airbags in the Opel Corsa OPC's sport seats are also an innovation. A joint development by Opel and Recaro, they are integrated into the seat backs − a first for a series production, folding body-contoured seat.

Technical Specifications

  • Length: 4040 mm
  • Width: 1713 mm
  • Height: 1488 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2511 mm
  • Track front/rear: 1485/1478 mm
  • Curb weight (without driver): 1203 kg
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbo
  • Displacement: 1598 cm3
  • Max. output: 141 kW (192 hp) @ 5850 rpm
  • Max. torque: 230 Nm @ 1980 − 5800 rpm
  • Max. torque with overboost: 266 Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed, manual
  • Top speed: 225 km/h
  • Acceleration
    • 0-100 km/h: 7.2 seconds
    • 80-120 km/h in fifth gear: 6.7 seconds
  • Consumption
    • urban: 10.5 l/100 km
    • extra-urban: 6.4 l/100 km
    • combined: 7.9 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions: 190 g/km