Tag Archive | "Astra"

Opel Astra OPC Makes Its Welcome Entrance

Opel Astra OPC Makes Its Welcome Entrance

General Motors South Africa (GMSA) has added Opel’s top performance Astra OPC to the local line-up. This comes a few days after its announcement on the new refreshed Astra range as well as changes to its model mix and pricing. This was all in an effort to improve its competiveness in the South African market.

The addition of the Astra OPC to the local line-up will see a number of enthusiasts clambering to get their hands on one, No doubt. Not to forget the renewed competitiveness between Opel, VW and Renault fans.

The Astra OPC compliments the Corsa OPC in the Opel range in South Africa to offer buyers a high performance option in both the small and compact hatch sectors. This latest offering from OPC (Opel Performance Centre) is powered by a 206 kW turbocharged direct injection 2,0 litre engine with maximum torque of 400 Nm. This enables the Astra OPC to sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 6 seconds with an electrically governed top speed of 250 km/h. All of this while having a claimed fuel consumption figure 12% lower than the outgoing model.

The average fuel consumption recorded by Opel engineers in tests is just 8.11 l/100km – a remarkable achievement for an engine with this level of performance. CO2 emissions are 189 g/km.

The Astra OPC chassis has also received some attention, and used the Astra GTC chassis as a baseline. Key elements that contribute to the excellent vehicle dynamics are high performance struts (HiPerStruts) on the front suspension; the mechatronic FlexRide chassis system; a mechanical plate type” limited slip differential, and the Brembo brakes.

The FlexRide chassis system allows the driver to tailor fundamental handling characteristics of the Astra OPC. There is a choice of three different driving modes (Standard, Sport and OPC) with each one offering a unique experience of high performance driving by providing degrees of shock absorber action, steering feel, and throttle response.

The standard mode provides a good all-round balance between comfort and performance for everyday motoring. A touch of a button is all that is required to engage the ‘Sport’ mode. With ‘Sport’ mode activated the suspension is stiffened up, agility is increased by a reduction in body roll, and steering action is more direct providing an overall sharper feel for the vehicle. The ultimate driving experience in the Astra OPC comes when the ‘OPC’ mode is engaged. With this mode active the steering becomes even more direct, the throttle is more responsive and the suspension setting is stiffened to deliver maximised handling performance.

Wheels are 20” alloy fitted with 245/35 R20 tyres as standard. The specification of the gas filled dampers is to a unique OPC standard while all mounting bushings are of a stiffer specification than on the standard Astra. Springs are of a stiffer rate than those found across the Astra and Astra GTC range.

TO limit traction loss and wheelspin, the Astra OPC comes equipped with a mechanical multi-plate limited slip differential which ensures that the maximum torque possible is transferred to the road.

From a styling perspective the Astra OPC the sportiness of the vehicle is enhanced by the front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two fully integrated trapezoidal shaped exhaust tail pipes.

The driver’s cockpit is defined by the flat bottom steering wheel and light-weight performance type bucket seats. The steering wheel takes its styling cue directly from a motorsports environment and is ten millimeters in diameter smaller that the regular Astra wheel for a more precise, sporty and direct steering sensation. Thumb areas are sculpted into the steering wheel for optimized grip and visibility of the instruments.

The design and positioning of the front seats provides for a unique and dynamic driving experience with their lower seating position and enhanced lateral support creating a cocooned effect right close to the road surface.

For the South African market the Astra OPC is offered with the high-performance seat option as standard equipment. The Astra OPC is trimmed with full leather upholstery with exclusive OPC stitching in arden blue or cool pearl for a sporty and premium look and feel for the interior.

The recommended Retail price including Vat for the Opel Astra OPC is R435000.

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Opel Astra Range Refreshed

Opel Astra Range Refreshed

General Motors South Africa (GMSA) has given the Opel Astra a bit of a refresh which include a number of styling and specification changes.

These revisions on the Opel Astra impact on exterior styling, interior trim, and revised technical specifications in line with local preferences. Along with these changes comes an aggressive new pricing structure for the Opel Astra range.

“With the introduction of the Opel Astra for the 2013 model year we have adopted a number of external, and internal styling changes that refresh the inherent continental styling appeal of the Astra,” says Malcolm Gauld, GM South Africa’s Vice President Vehicles Sales Service and Marketing. “Customer expectations are a dynamic area of the market that we continually monitor to ensure that we are always able to offer an excellent value proposition. The changes to the Astra line-up reflect changing customer preferences.”

Gereral Motors states that they have noticed the shift in the vehicle market from  “nice-to-have” but seldom used specification items in favour of a specification that offers a degree of cost saving without any real sacrifice in functionality or comfort.

To satisfy this market requirement General Motors have reviewed the specification versus pricing across the Opel Astra Hatch range and together with Opel in Germany arrived at a formula that enables them to reduce the cost of the Opel Astra and increase its competitiveness in the popular “C’ segment of the passenger vehicle market.

External styling changes feature a revised grille with the distinctive Opel insignia now mounted, centred top to bottom, in a wing shaped chrome embellishment together with a redesigned front bumper with a more pronounced lower grille section. The new frontal styling is completed with an update for the fog lights and turn indicators.

At the rear the new enhanced Opel Astra is defined by new chrome detailing, a revised bumper design and new treatment for the license plate holder. The exterior styling package is completed with revised styling for the alloy rims across the range. Interior styling changes include the introduction of new contemporary trim materials and mouldings.

First up in the range is the Opel Astra 1.6 Essentia. This model retains its high level of specification in keeping with competitive offerings in its price range but without cruise control, rear electric windows, and curtain side airbags. The revised price of this model has reduced from R235 200 to R231 000, a reduction of 1,8%.

New in the line-up is the Opel Astra 1.4T Essentia Plus. This offers essentially the same specification level as the Astra 1.6 Essentia but includes electric windows at the rear, cruise control, and curtain side airbags. The 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine is replaced by a 1.4 litre turbo engine.

This advanced new generation engine from Opel offers best-in-segment power, torque and acceleration. Maximum power is 103 kW with 200 Nm of torque available across a wide engine operating range of between 1,850 and 4,900 r/min. Maximum speed is 202 km/h with acceleration from zero to 100 km/h achievable in 9,8 seconds.

This level of performance is delivered with a claimed fuel consumption of just 5,9 l/100 km used in the combined cycle rating.  CO2 emissions are a low 138 g/km. Add to this that there is little drop off in performance at higher altitudes compared to normally aspirated engines. Drive is via a 6-speed manual transmission.

This model is offered at a very competitive R248 000 and effectively replaces the Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus which is no longer available.

In keeping with the objective of offering an excellent value proposition the Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy specification now includes automatic rain sensing windscreen wipers, an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, and auto headlight control. This improved specification level is offered at R257 000.

The Opel Astra 1.6T Sport continues in the range with no specification changes but with a price reduction from R301 900 to R298 500, a saving of 1.1%. This model offers maximum power of 132 kW as the most powerful production engine in its capacity class. Maximum torque is 230 Nm. This delivers a maximum speed of 221 km/h with a zero to 100 km/h time of 8,5 seconds. Drive is via a 6-speed manual transmission. Combined cycle fuel economy is 6,8 l/100km and CO2 emissions are 159 gm/km.

Let’s hope these changes lead to increased sales for General Motors.

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