A Hero Dethroned: Road Review – Opel Astra J OPC

Our Opel Astra OPC tested by Torquing Cars R.“It is with both great sorrow and great joy that I write this article. In fact it is also with great disregard for all I have been taught to obey as a motoring journalist. I was taught to be objective, not let my emotions influence me, to not “fall in love with a vehicle too much.” But I’m rambling on a bit here; let me get to the point… They say you should never meet your heroes, for you will always be disappointed with what you see, but they were wrong… I met my hero two years ago, and again a few weeks ago, and each time it was everything I dreamed of and more; my hero was the B7 Audi RS4, it represented the perfect car to me in all aspects. That was until I encountered my latest test vehicle for this past week.

I was given a key to a white 3 door coupe hatchback; the emblem on the front and back of the car was the all too familiar circle with a horizontal lighting bolt through it. I say all too familiar because Opels are quite common on our roads, and more so because I myself own an Opel Astra. I’ve always loved Opel, but despite that, I’ve always been heavily critical of them. My own Euro model has an incredible floppy chassis and an oil leak that only stops when you’re out of oil, I complain and critique this all the time. The previous generation Astra OPC (which was adored by many a power hungry driver) was unrefined, had masses of torquesteer, and for all its charm just wasn’t a real contender amongst the other hot hatches. So when I encountered the latest Astra OPC, key in hand, I immediately began to wonder what I might find wrong with it.

Yes, there were a few things wrong with it, I’ll admit: A) The visibility was rather poor all round, and the reverse parking sensors were a bit sheepish on relaying that there was a wall behind me. B) The pedals were awkwardly placed, about 3-5cm too far to the right. C) 2nd gear grinds on 9 out of 10 0-100Km/h runs because it just doesn’t change gear as quick as you move the gear-lever. D) The most important “flaw” with the Astra OPC, it’s completely and undeniably irresistible!”

Read the full test review on Torquingcarsonline.com.