A high-performance model that’s certain to turn heads

by Dave Phillips

THE new Corsa turned out to be one of our favourite cars to test last year, with the fifth-generation model – a solid drive that is full of pep – striking the right balance between fun and functionality.
And, right on the heels of the regular release of Opel’s hot hatch was a very special OPC (Opel Performance Centre) edition that we had the pleasure of taking out this year.
OPC editions are top of the line renditions of Opel models, pushing the cars to the maximum in terms of performance, engine technology, and design.
With a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, and Opel claiming a top speed of 270kmph, there is no escaping the happy fact that the OPC Corsa is an out-and-out sports car.
That said, it is a sports car that – if you were so inclined – you could also get away with nipping down to the shops in.
Heads may turn if you do, as the test car we took out looked stunning. Decked out in Flash Blue (a colour unique to this OPC model), and sitting on 18-inch black alloys, the OPC Corsa builds on the model’s athletic look, and adds some extra flair with side sills, a rear roof spoiler, and a twin-pipe exhaust.
The overall effect looks a breed apart from the traditional Corsa, boasting more of a mature and refined race-track look.
That polished aesthetic follows into the interior, where there is no souped-up, high-gloss sheen. Instead, things look clean, uncluttered, and sturdy.
There is an elegant leather finish running across the heavy-stitched Recaro seats, the flat-bottomed racing wheel, and a short-throw gear lever.
And that leather-clad lever, despite it being a small thing, is significant – the first thing you’ll notice are the specks of that vibrant OPC blue tastefully demarcating the gears.
The second is the weight and robustness of it; this really feels like something that will stand the test of time and will still feel satisfyingly strong and firm 20 years down the line.
There is all the tech you can expect from the standard Corsa, with the simple to use IntelliLink system serving for entertainment and GPS demands.
But, of course, the real selling point here lies under the bonnet. Getting to 100kmph in just 6.5 seconds (a statistic you won’t care to test, because it feels so evident), the OPC Corsa is a machine that is built for high-end performance.
Producing plenty of torque in lower revs, every gear in the OPC Corsa feels swift and powerful.
The squat position (this model has dropped an extra 10mm since its last incarnation) and incredibly precise steering mean the car really hugs the road around bends and is a blast to drive in the open.
The OPC Corsa starts at €29,995 (the model we tested with extras retails at €33,170) and falls into the E tax band (€750), so this is going to be a car that will only ever appeal to a niche group of buyers – but for those in the market, this is a stunning piece of work that feels like it still be humming smoothly a generation from now.

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