In the past, Opel’s performance machines were always distinguishable by the GSi badge mounted on the bootlid or front seats or on the front bumper. But in the late ’90s, with the set up of the Opel Performance Centre, hot Opels were soon to wear a new badge – the first of which was the Astra OPC.
Tested nearly 10 years ago, the first Astra OPC was the long-awaited rival to the likes of the turbocharged 1,8-litre Golf GTi – after the disappointing 2,2-litre Astra GSi failed to take the fight to the ground-breaking VW. The OPC division took the Astra three-door and turned up the street cred with multi-spoke 17-inch wheels, a front bumper with a deep airdam, and prominent rear spoiler.
Under the bonnet lied a turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder motor that produced 147 kW at 5 600 r/min and 250 N.m of torque from 1 950 all the way to 5 600 r/min. Mated with a five-speed manual gearbox, the OPC managed the 0-100 km/h sprint in 7,5 seconds and a top speed of 239 km/h.