Opel Corsa OPC Nurburgring Edition

BY Joel Tam

Looks like everyone is having a Nürburgring Edition of some sort nowadays. The limited Opel Corsa OPC is one of them, just 500 units of this raw pocket-rocket powerhouse will be available.

Additional power is delivered by modified engine management and turbo charger systems, a sports exhaust with reduced back pressure and optimization for 100 octane fuel. As a result, the maximum output of the 1.6 litre OPC turbo engine is raised from 141 kW/192 hp to 154 kW/210 hp, giving a specific power rating of 131.4 hp per litre which is exceptional in this engine class. The maximum torque of the base engine (230-266 Nm) is also increased to 250 Nm and 280 Nm when the turbocharger's 'overboost' function is activated.

In order to convert such power into efficient propulsion, the front axle is equipped with a mechanical, multi-plate limited-slip differential. This helps reduce wheel slip when there are very high lateral forces under acceleration, for example, or changes in the texture of the road surface. It is also ideal for forays onto the race track.

The chassis of the Corsa top model has also been retuned. Measures taken include an even lower ride height, the use of newly developed spring and damper units by Bilstein and - as a further high-tech detail - a new lightweight front braking system from specialists Brembo with bespoke, high performance brake linings. The control algorithms for the chassis support systems - ABS, Traction Control (TC) and the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - have all been recalibrated by experts at the Opel Performance Center to match the car's new configuration.

Visual highlights include two new, exclusive body colors - apple-green 'Grasshopper' and red 'Henna' - as well as newly designed 8 x 18-inch, forged aluminum wheels in high-gloss gray, shod with the 225/35 R 18 V tyres. Other features distinguishing the 'Nürburgring Edition' from the existing Opel Corsa OPC are a front spoiler lip and a new dual exhaust in stainless steel, as well as Nürburgring logos on the B-pillars. The sports interior features unique sill plates with black and red Nürburgring lettering and decorative white stitching on the front Recaro sports seats, as well as the rear seats, handbrake and gearshift console. The front seat backs are also embossed with the Nürburgring logo and the steering wheel insert is finished in piano black.

Standard performance figures give only hint of what it's like to drive the Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition. It hits 100 km/h from a standing start in just 6.8 seconds, and in-gear elasticity is boosted by that plentiful torque generation. This small sports hatch completes the transition from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in just 6.2 seconds, and with a top speed of 230 km/h, it is among the performance leaders in its class.

As its name suggests, the Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition once again underscores Opel's bond with the famous Eifel race track steeped in tradition. The top-of-the-line Corsa had to prove its brilliant driving dynamics during testing and tuning runs under maximum load on the Nürburgring north loop, the world's most demanding race track. But the driving fun on offer is not restricted to speed and handling precision alone. It also includes an exciting aural experience: the sound of the newly developed exhaust system is tailored to suit the character of the vehicle, as well as giving optimal performance.

The essence of the Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition is best summed up by Opel brand ambassador and OPC performance driving trainer Joachim 'Jockel' Winkelhock. "You drive and drive and drive - and you just don't want to stop".