Opel Corsa OPC – Review

If you’re in the market for a hot hatch, you should not dismiss the Opel Corsa OPC. What you might think is a niche market, it is far from it. The Corsa OPC has many rivals such as the Peugeot 208 GTi, Renault Clio RS, SEAT Ibiza Cupra and the Ford Fiesta ST. All of which are very good in their own way, so can the Corsa live up to its OPC title?

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Opel Corsa OPC
Engine: 1.6 Turbo Petrol  – 205hp and 280Nm
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual, Front Wheel Drive
Price: The Corsa range starts from €14,895 with the OPC starting at €29,995, as tested – €33,170, including options.

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Straight away, the Opel Corsa OPC is set apart from its much more tame counterpart, the Corsa. The test car we had was painted in Flash Blue and had the optional 18 inch alloys. IMG_7740The OPC sits 10mm lower than the regular Corsa so it has a sportier and aggressive stance about it.  The brave new styling to the Corsa is definitely, well, brave. Although it took us a while to getting use to, we really liked the styling of the OPC. It looks mean and would look quite scary approaching you while out on the race track.

Here are a few numbers for you; The Corsa has 205hp and 280Nm, (this includes a 35Nm overboost). It will launch you from 0-100kmh in just 6.5 seconds thanks to its 1.6 turbocharged petrol engine.

All sounds good so far, right? Well don’t get too excited yet as the Corsa OPC does come at a price. The starting price is €29,995 but adding tinted rear windows (€155), IMG_7598optional 18 inch alloys (€750), front and rear park assist (€420) and the OPC leather pack (€1850) brings our test car to a hefty €33,170. The starting price is over €1200 more than the Peugeot 208 GTi, over €3600 more expensive than a Ford Fiesta ST and a staggering  €7370 more than the Ibiza Cupra.

But lets say you have €33,000 to spend on a hot hatch, will you make up for it on running costs? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The tax for the OPC is €750/annum due to the C02 emissions of 174g/km. IMG_7765This is compared to €270 in the 208 GTi, €280 in the Fiesta ST and €390 in the Ibiza Cupra. Also, Opel claims the car can get 7.5l/100km, we averaged 10.5l/100km. We must admit though that we weren’t “taking her handy”. Its easy to have too much fun in the OPC.

From the moment you turn the key and the 1.6 turbo petrol engine burbles into life, thanks to the Remus sports exhaust, the Corsa OPC welcomes you with open arms. IMG_7662It urges you to push it harder and to go fast on the windy and twisty roads it was made for.

The OPC is equipped with a Koni damping system known as Frequency Selective Damping, so therefore the car sits 10mm lower than the regular Corsa. FSD adapts to the drivers style of driving so it knows to maintain body control at high speeds but once the car is taken into the city, the ride is not compromised. This worked well as we found that the car absorbed the bad Irish roads quite well. Aswell, the car is brought to a stop with thanks to 308mm front brake discs.

The OPC keeps you on your toes. It has a hint of torque steer, much like the Astra H OPC had. IMG_7708Michelin 215/45 R17 tyres are standard on the car. In the dry, the grip is good from the OPC but in the wet, it feels as if you are driving on racing slick tires. Very little grip is to be found even under low acceleration.

The Recaro seats hug you in all the right places and even warm you up on those cold winter mornings. If having toasty buns isn’t enough for you, keep those mits warm with the heating steering wheel. IMG_7795InteliLink comes as standard and the user can connect their iOs or Android phone to use apps, play music or use the BringGo Sat Nav system. However, we didn’t like the overuse of cheap ‘scratchy’ plastics used on the dashboard and doors, for example.

All in all, the Corsa OPC is great for hooning around the back roads on a Sunday morning or doing a few laps of Mondello. IMG_7722The chassis updates certainly make the car a lot more capable over its predecessor and the new Remus exhaust will definitely wake you up on those cold, dull mornings. Although, a lot is left to be desired in terms of interior quality, certainly when you are spending €33,000. Getting by these flaws however, the OPC is a serious contender in the hot hatch segment.

Photography: Darragh McKenna