Official: Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer revealed

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

After the Opel Insignia OPC was introduced last month a wagon or Sports Tourer variant followed which is due to hit showrooms of Opel and Vauxhall in the second half of 2009. The OPC Sports Tourer, like its sedan sibling, is equipped with the same twin-turbo engine, refined AWD chassis and an acceleration rate from 0-60mph in under 6 seconds.

Power output is pegged at 325hp (242kW). OPC (Opel Performance Center) is the designation provided to models developed by GM's official European in-house tuner. The designation was previously used for models like the Astra and compact Corsa hatchbacks.

When sold under the Vauxhall brand of UK OPC models are rebadged as VXRs. The main distinction between the sedan and Sports Tourer is the additional storage area of the wagon body, which provides 540 liters of luggage space with the 40:60 split rear seats up and 1,530 liters when they are down.

The first model from the performance division to be given an AWD, the Insignia OPC comes in sedan, hatch and Sports Tourer wagon body versions. Features in the Insignia OPC include a High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension system, an adjustable AWD system equipped with an electronic Limited Slip Differential and a lowered ride height by 10mm compared with the standard model.

Unique to the OPC models, the HiPerStrut system has two main functions. It reduces torque-steer, but also maintain negative camber when cornering consequently enhancing grip levels in either wet or dry driving situations. Powering the car is a 2.8-liter turbocharged unit that produces 325hp (242kW) sufficient to give the car a sprint rate of 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 155mph which is electronically limited.

The car sits atop 19 inch alloys with 20 inches lightweight forged alloys as an option. Other features include revised bushing and damper setting on both axles and Brembo brakes with color-keyed calipers and aspirated and cross-drilled brake discs provide stopping power. The interior is fitted with Recaro front seats, a new steering wheel, gear knob and special moldings, together with instrument graphics and sill plates distinct from the standard model.

Press Release

Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer

The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will hit dealerships in late 2009, but first it has to go through hell - the Green Hell of the Nürgurgring's Nordschleife, considered the toughest, most demanding and dangerous race track in the world.

Opel engineers insist that all vehicles in their OPC range complete a rigorous 10,000 kilometer testing around the 20.8 km Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, dubbed the Green Hell by legendary race car driver Jackie Stewart. Just a few days ago, the Opel Insignia OPC sedan finished the challenge with no problems.

"The Opel Insignia OPC sedan raced 487 laps for 12 days at some top speeds flawlessly. This kind of performance and quality is what we expect from all our Opel cars," says Hans Demant, Managing Director of Opel.

The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer boasts a 325 hp/239 kW, 435 Nm 2.8-liter V6 Turbo engine for maximum power. It features high-tech elements, like a lower, reworked mechatronic chassis with FlexRide, an Adaptive 4x4 transmission with an electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) and purpose-built Brembo brakes - all complemented by spacious station wagon functionality with 1530 liters of load capacity.

Automotive technology at its best

Like the Opel Insignia OPC sedan, the Sports Tourer is full of technological highlights. The OPC engine is 25 percent more powerful than the 260 hp version of the 2.8 V6 Turbo in the Insignia Sport and Cosmo. The increase in power was obtained by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure, with special mufflers contributing to a sporty, deep sound. The unit comes with a six-speed manual transmission, enabling acceleration from zero to 100 in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted).

The management unit of the Adaptive 4x4 with eLSD has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Engineers at the Opel Performance Center developed a specific high-performance front axle called HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) for the chassis, which is 10 mm lower than the AWD Insignia Sport version. Benefits include reduced steering disturbances and an improved handling feel for the driver.

The OPC's standard electronic FlexRide suspension has been adjusted for extra performance and caters to those enjoying a sportier ride. It offers three different sporty choices: The standard mode provides its most comfortable ride, a Sport mode is stiffer and a new OPC setting brings optimal fun.

Tough Track: 12 days, 27,000 gear shifts, 35,551 curves and 487 laps

Before it hits the roads in the fall, the new Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will take its turn against the Green Hell: 10,000 fast kilometers on the Nordschleife translates to around 180,000 kilometers on the road. Modified tuning accommodates the station wagon's shifted center of gravity, which is why the Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer suspension will be tested separately on the Ring.

Even though the 20.8 kilometer, extremely demanding track is part of the standard OPC program, this extra validation is always something special for Volker Strycek and his team. The ex-German Car Championship driver and Manager of the Opel Performance Center sums up: Twelve drivers, Opel design engineers and Nordschleife connoisseurs trade off behind the wheel of a production Insignia OPC for 12 days, rain or shine. "It really can take a toll on a those 12 days add up to 27,000 gear shifts along 35,551 curves during a total of 487 laps."

Validation Coordinator Jens Hornischer, who drives a major part of the endurance test distance, says, "We push the car to give a constant 90 percent or so - and that is really a tough test for any car. And there is next to no preparation work."

An Arden Blue Opel Insignia OPC sedan completed its rite of passage earlier in May 2009, confirming the high quality standard that Opel customers expect.

Opel's long tradition of sport station wagons offers best of both worlds

The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer is the latest chapter in a long station wagon success story. As a pioneer in this segment, Opel brought the Olympia Rekord Car-A-Van, a combination of car and van, to Europe in 1953. In 1970 Opel built the Ascona Voyage, the first lifestyle station wagon.

The next innovation in this segment followed in 1991, when Opel presented the most powerful production station wagon in the world, the Omega Caravan 24V, a 3-liter, straight-six cylinder with 204 hp. The Vectra OPC continued the Opel tradition of powerful station wagons. It was available from 2005, ultimately as a high-performance front-wheel drive model with 280 hp.

The new 325 hp Opel Insignia OPC takes a huge step forward in terms of driving dynamics with even more power and the Adaptive 4x4 system. And the dynamic Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer is also bound to turn heads.

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