Opel/Vauxhall Astra VXR/OPC promises excellent handling thanks to Drexler limited-slip differential

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 22, 2012

Opel/Vauxhall’s 155mph Astra VXR/OPC hot hatch excellent handling is attributed mostly to the German-built Drexler limited-slip differential that’s the first of its kind to be used in a production front-wheel-drive road car. The differential uses circular plates that lock to prevent the 276bhp VXR from spinning away power in corners and over cambers when the car is being driven hard.

Since the 1960s, the plate-type diffs have been used in motorsport in front-drive cars. But typically, they work with an aggressive action and are challenging to drive. But then, Vauxhall said that the Drexler Motorsport unit is incredibly easy to drive.

VXR boss Volker Strycek, a former touring car racer, said that there’s “very little snatching of the wheel” and that it has been tuned so that the operation wouldn’t be felt. In addition, Strycek has driven front-drive cars that utilize torque-sensing front diffs like the Ford Focus RS. He also said that the VXR has much better steering. The VXR’s HiPerStrut front suspension, which decouples the front wheels from the steering axis, aids in reducing torque steer.

Next month, Strycek will personally be driving the VXR around the Nürburgring as Vauxhall enters the final development phase of the Astra VXR project before its launch this summer.

Project chief Uli Pfeffer said that the new VXR is a major improvement over the outgoing car with more power and performance, and with an enhanced ride and better grip. This new bodyshell is 40% torsionally stiffer, which means that it’s a better platform for the suspension. Furthermore, the FlexRide active dampers have a wider operating range that improves the daily ride quality but with a track performance that’s much improved.

Topics: opel, opel astra, gtc, opc

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

Back in 2009, Nissan first introduced the Nissan Leaf, the company’s first all-electric vehicle. LEAF stands for Leading Environmentally-friendly Affordable Family car and this particular EV has been considered as...
by - December 3, 2016
In the minivan segment, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is already impressive in terms of fuel economy figures – as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the...
by - December 2, 2016
Having a blacked-out Bentley Mulsanne Speed is already menacing by itself but by naming it as the Bamford X, it became all the more imposing. This model was made by...
by - December 2, 2016
We have good news for those who are waiting for the latest version of the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover. It was just unveiled in November at the 2016 Los Angeles...
by - December 2, 2016
Those familiar with racing know that Marco Wittmann’s win during the 2016 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters held last May was noteworthy as it was his second title in four seasons. In...
by - December 2, 2016
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries