First Drive: Opel Corsa Nurburgring Edition

‘Grasshopper Green’ – buy it in that colour, and don’t let us catch you even considering one of the other 3 paintjobs on offer.  Yes, we’re talking about the Opel Corsa OPC Nurburgring Edition, which has just landed in SA.  The green pays tribute to the Green Hell, which lends it’s name to this OPC model, but to what extent?

 

Well the regular Corsa OPC was feisty, but this run-out model takes it to a new level.  Power from the 1.6 turbo engine is upped 13kW to 154kW with up to 280Nm of torque available on overboost.  It’s also been fitted with a new mechanical limited-slip differential to put the power down, as well as new Bilstein Springs, lowered by 20mm, and Brembo brakes, with 225/35 R18 shoes in high-gloss grey and a new dual, stainless steel exhaust.  It looks mean too, with Nurburgring Edition insignias on the door sills, B-pillars and in the headrests of the leather-clad Recaro bucket seats inside.

 

But, it’s only available in limited numbers, and 40 of 65 allocated for SA have already been snapped up.  So why should you fork out R343 200 for something that will only do 0-100 in 6.8s?

 

Well it’s phenomenal for starters.  It looks great, aggressive, racy, and ready to tear up the road or the track, and it looks fantastic in Grasshopper Green – in case you didn’t realise, we like the green!

 

It drives well too.  The LSD makes a world of difference as the OPC can finally ground all its power, with only minimal torquesteer on hard shifts into second gear.  The upgraded suspension is compliant and smooth riding, yet offers superb dynamics through the twisties, especially at high speeds through the mountain passes of the Eastern Cape.  The ride comfort in the ‘Ring edition OPC is even better than that of the standard one, and although the 0-100 claim is only 6.8s, in-gear acceleration is simply phenomenal, so 0-100 times matter little.  Once on the move or on a track, no one will be able to come close.  The flaw of the OPC?  It sounds rather muted, despite the new exhaust, which makes you feel like it’s slower than it actually is.

 

The dynamics of the OPC are on point, with great connected driver feel to the vehicle at all times, and the stopping power is there in masses.  But it’s got creature comforts too, with USB and auxiliary inputs for the media system, as well as air conditioning, which doesn’t inhibit the car’s power when in use.

 

The OPC has been honed on the infamous Nurburgring circuit, and the results show it.  Like all great hot hatches, it only comes with one driving mode; you’re in OPC mode all the time!  If you have the money for this limited edition model, buy it, you won’t be disappointed… and if you want our opinion, get the green.

 

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Author: Roger Biermann

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