Exactly 15 years ago, Opel introduced its very first OPC (Opel Performance Center) model: the Astra (G) OPC, which first bowed in 1999. It offered 160 HP from its 2.0 liter ECOTEC engine, up from 136 HP in the non-performance version, and a tweaked, responsive chassis to match. The engine even had an additional oil cooler and an adapted thermostat so that it could weather enthused track usage.
Since then, the Opel Performance Center has produced an unbroken sequence of rule-defying, high-performance, and yet economical, cars. The OPC badge has all but completely replaced the GSi (Grand Sport injection) badge previously given to the marque’s enthusiast-serving models. Miss the badge, and you’ll still likely know it’s an OPC by the dramatic aerodynamic touches, sportier (often larger) wheels, and other track-oriented touches.
Turbocharging first came to the OPC lineup in 2001, with the introduction of the Zafira OPC. Power from the 2.0 liter mill swelled accordingly, to 192 HP for the first-generation van, making it the fastest minivan available in Europe. The second-generation Zafira OPC saw power grow again to 240 HP, and in 2006, it set the record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife for minivans, with a time of just 8:54.38 – a record which still stands today.
Today, the most advanced achievement of the OPC division is the “Unlimited-Version” of the Insignia OPC, which produces 325 HP, and achieves a top speed of 168 mph. Its turbocharged 2.8 liter V6 is the crown jewel powering the all-wheel drive performance paragon of OPC’s 15-year history, flaunting the superb performance for which the Opel Performance Center is known.