“I do feel at the moment that all I write about is hot hatches. I started thinking this could be my fault, but it isn’t. I’ve just done a count, and depending on your criteria, there are nine of these creatures in the C segment alone. It’s symptomatic of an industry that needs halo cars in its most important segments. And as emission laws intensify, fuel prices increase and customer’s demand better, smaller cars, the humble hatchback is an incredibly important segment. And even if you aren’t in the market for one of these, everyone likes to know about the hero cars.
The Astra OPC by anyone’s definition is a sensational looking car. There is no pretense of trying to hide its ability – this is a powerful car and Opel wants everyone to know about it. Fantastic in pictures, it’s even more striking in the metal. While the Golf looks great regardless, parked next to the OPC, the VW looks a bit boxy; plain even.
The test car lurking outside my window is a colour I can only describe as “phonebook yellow”. It looks wicked, but I think you’d tire of it. In the same way that it might be fun to have a bright purple cocktail every now and then – you know, live La Vida Loca – it wouldn’t be your every day drink. The OPC comes with a fantastic aero pack that really helps it look the part. And running on those massive, exclusive 20 inch alloys, this is certainly in the running for the hottest-looking hot hatch.
Sitting snugly under the bonnet of the Astra OPC is a 2.0 litre, inline 4 cylinder turbocharged petrol motor that has been tuned to produce more power than British Touring car specifications. 206kW and 400Nm in a hatchback is no laughing matter.”