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    William Maley

    Geneva Motor Show: The Meanest Astra You Have Ever Seen

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      EXTREME! Meet The Meanest Astra EVER!


    Opel and Vauxhall are bringing the heat to the sport compact market with the introduction of the Astra OPC Extreme (or VXR Extreme). The two say this is the fastest Astra ever built and looking at the spec sheet, we have to agree.

    The Astra OPC/VXR Extreme comes with a 2.0L turbo-four producing 300 horsepower to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Opel and Vauxhall are keeping performance figures a secret, but expect it to be quicker than the standard Astra OPC/VXR.

    Compared to the standard Astra OPC/VXR, the Extreme is 220 pounds lighter thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber throughout the body. More carbon fiber is found on the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel. The interior also features Recaro bucket seats with six-point harnesses and a rollcage.

    “With the new Astra OPC EXTREME we show the pure joy of driving! This study is quite simply spectacular and driving enthusiasts will appreciate its looks, which are head-turning without grandstanding. Its interior is superb and typically Opel – exciting, precise and quality-made in Germany. The EXTREME is the new top-of-the-line model in our Astra family with all the attributes of a super sporty car,” says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann in a statement.

    Opel says if the public reaction is good, they will put the Extreme into low-volume production.

    Source: Opel

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Uncompromisingly Sporty: New Opel Astra OPC EXTREME

    • Study for low-volume production run: World premiere at Geneva Motor Show
    • From the racetrack to public roads: Fastest-ever Astra on its way
    • Turbo power and carbon fiber: Over 300 hp, 100 kilograms lighter than OPC
    • Breathtaking looks: High-tech lacquer highlights sculptural Opel design

    Rüsselsheim. The Opel Astra OPC EXTREME that makes its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in six days is a real race-bred performance car. Developed on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the most challenging race track in the world, it is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine with over 300 hp and equipped with all the key high-tech components from its racing peer, the Opel Astra OPC Cup. The Astra OPC EXTREME was developed directly from the Cup version and brings pure racing technology to the road. If public reaction is as positive as expected, Opel plans a low-volume production run for the super sporty, street-legal EXTREME.

    Over 300 hp will be unleashed from under the EXTREME’s carbon fiber hood. Its 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine, with direct injection and variable camshaft phasing, is quite simply the most powerful four-cylinder unit Opel has ever produced. The all-aluminum engine is mated to a slick, six-speed manual gearbox transmitting power through a limited-slip differential. This race-proven powerplant will have an easy time of it with the OPC EXTREME, because the super sporty car is 100 kilograms lighter than a conventional Astra OPC thanks to its high-quality, carbon fiber components.

    Widely used in Formula 1 racing to reduce weight, carbon composite is incorporated throughout the EXTREME. This high-strength, ultra-light material is used for the aerodynamically-optimized rear wing, the diffuser, front spoiler, hood, suspension cross-bracing, the engine cover, complete wheels, rear wheelhouse ventilation and roof. The carbon wheels are 20 kilograms lighter than their aluminum counterparts. This is weight saving in a decisive area because unsprung mass is substantially reduced – much to the joy of engineers and driving fun of drivers. The inhouse manufactured carbon fiber roof is almost as light as a feather. It weighs just 2.6 kilograms, compared to a steel roof’s 9.3 kilograms, and noticeably lowers the Astra EXTREME’s center of gravity. The fenders are made of aluminum and weigh only 800 grams a piece instead of 2.2 kilograms in steel.

    Weight reduction in key areas greatly improves agility, overall handling and, of course, the car’s power-to-weight ratio. As a result, the street-legal EXTREME sweeps through fast curves as playfully and quickly as its racing brother in the Nürburgring Endurance Championship (VLN). Opel has also given the EXTREME breathtaking stopping power to match, with a Brembo six-piston brake system including 370 mm diameter discs up front race car. Ultra high-performance, 245/35, 19-inch tires, specially developed for the EXTREME, also play a key role and give almost as much grip as those on the race car. In addition, the chassis (spring/damper) is adjustable, just like in a real touring car racer.

    The pursuit of uncompromised performance continues in the design of the EXTREME’S cabin: the back seats are out and a safety roll bar is in. The driver and co-driver are perfectly positioned in specially-designed Recaro bucket seats, complete with six-point safety belts from Schroth. In the Astra OPC EXTREME, the crew doesn’t just sit in the car, they are fully integrated as part of the vehicle itself. The driver also has the tactile pleasure of gripping a superb, carbon-fiber-reinforced, suede-covered steering wheel with fine yellow decorative stitching. Opel Motorsport’s core color also dresses up the Astra OPC EXTREME elsewhere, for instance in the exclusively designed logo and as lacquer on the side sills and front spoiler lip.

    Apropos lacquer, the Astra GTC body format – the base model for the OPC EXTREME – ideally embodies Opel’s sculptural design philosophy. Its flowing, sculpted shapes and precise accents blend into dramatic proportions. The Astra OPC EXTREME’s multi-layer paint lacquer is combined with high-quality decal details to give a three-dimensional effect, further emphasizing the car’s clean edges, bold lines and athletic proportions.

    “With the new Astra OPC EXTREME we show the pure joy of driving! This study is quite simply spectacular and driving enthusiasts will appreciate its looks, which are head-turning without grandstanding. Its interior is superb and typically Opel – exciting, precise and quality-made in Germany. The EXTREME is the new top-of-the-line model in our Astra family with all the attributes of a super sporty car,” says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

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    WOW :metal: That is one bad ass ride. The Tuner crowd would eat this up if they bring it here. This SHOULD BE Chevy Compact SS. Add an AWD option and you really have one sick ride.

    CHEVY CRUZE SS

    That is what this should be!

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    Can you say Buick Verano GN?

    I would save the X for the all-wheel drive version.

    You'd have to wait for the NG D2XX platform as the current Delta does not support AWD... :AH-HA:

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    I know.. I know...

    In any case, don't think GM would have the balls to give this car to Buick. GM's not even willing to ship the regular Astra GTCs over to the US!...

    Edited by ZL-1
    • Upvote 1

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    I think they feel they just don't have the brand to put such cars in.... while I'd buy one as a Buick, I don't think most others targeted by cars like this would.

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

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    I would not short change the Buick buying public. You put the right marketing message behind this and you could have youth clamor for it.

    To Coin a old Phrase,

    This is not your Fathers Buick! ;)

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

    They could try... but I think they need to work on the sport side of their image a bit more. Start with the Adam first.

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

    They could try... but I think they need to work on the sport side of their image a bit more. Start with the Adam first.

    Still think Buick would be a better plce for the car...

    Re the Adam, IDK... Adam is more youthful than sporty (except for the new Adam S)... Something a little more outrageous like this Astra to get attention and a couple months later introduce the Astra GTC range as the Buick Astra, maybe?...

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

    They could try... but I think they need to work on the sport side of their image a bit more. Start with the Adam first.

    Still think Buick would be a better plce for the car...

    Re the Adam, IDK... Adam is more youthful than sporty (except for the new Adam S)... Something a little more outrageous like this Astra to get attention and a couple months later introduce the Astra GTC range as the Buick Astra, maybe?...

    While I Doubt this would happen as GM like all other auto companies seem to be gun shy, I believe ZL-1 has hit it right on. GM Needs to shock everyone with a auto like this for the Buick market here that would drive middle age and young people into buy the car and show a rebellious side to Buick.

    This is what Buick needs to jump their image back into the main stream. :metal:

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

    They could try... but I think they need to work on the sport side of their image a bit more. Start with the Adam first.

    Still think Buick would be a better plce for the car...

    Re the Adam, IDK... Adam is more youthful than sporty (except for the new Adam S)... Something a little more outrageous like this Astra to get attention and a couple months later introduce the Astra GTC range as the Buick Astra, maybe?...

    I'm thinking about the target American market here.... I think about all the Mini-Coopers in Suburban McMansion America... and that could be an excellent Buick Adam market.

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    Pontiac

    That one doesn't existe anymore :P

    If not a Buick (and really... why not?) I'd do it as a Chevrolet. The problem is that the Astra's interior design is the same as the Verano's, so...

    They could try... but I think they need to work on the sport side of their image a bit more. Start with the Adam first.

    Still think Buick would be a better plce for the car...

    Re the Adam, IDK... Adam is more youthful than sporty (except for the new Adam S)... Something a little more outrageous like this Astra to get attention and a couple months later introduce the Astra GTC range as the Buick Astra, maybe?...

    I'm thinking about the target American market here.... I think about all the Mini-Coopers in Suburban McMansion America... and that could be an excellent Buick Adam market.

    I admit you could be right. I mean, someone I know in FL exchanged her F-150 for a MINI Cooper, so........... "Suburban McMansion America" can do some weird twists and turns from one car purchase to the next...

    Edited by ZL-1

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      “The Opel GT X Experimental embodies the spirit of our core brand values – German, approachable, exciting. It’s an “approachable” concept that people can identify with. It confidently combines a pure and bold design execution with progressive technology that makes life easier. Clearly, this vehicle signals a very exciting future for the brand,” said Mark Adams.
      Opel Compass and Opel Vizor give new visual identity to future Opel models
      The GT X Experimental also reveals the new theme for the front and the rear fascia of future models for the first time. The “Opel Compass” organises the design elements along two strong axes that intersect the Blitz. The legendary brand emblem is now the focus point more than ever before. In a crisper and purer execution, the centre-crease line on the bonnet represents the vertical axis, which is prolonged under the Blitz. The horizontal axis is symbolised by the Opel-typical wing-shaped daytime running light signature, which will continue to feature on all future Opel vehicles. The rear echoes the front fascia and shows the Opel Compass in its purity, with the Blitz solidly anchoring the horizontal line of the wing-shaped rear lights and the vertical line from the roof fin antenna to the accentuated crease in the bumper.
      Following the theme of the Opel Compass and in line with the approach of creating the purest possible design, Opel designers have also created a new Opel face that expresses the company’s pioneering spirit: the “Opel Vizor”. The Opel Vizor is a full, single module that frames all of the high-tech and brand elements such as the LED Blitz emblem that shows the car’s operation state by lighting up in different colours, the LED matrix headlights, the wing-shaped daytime running lights as well as all cameras and sensors of the assistance systems and autonomous driving functions under darkly tinted Plexiglas. The elegant module boldly stretches across the front of the car right under the bonnet. The new, distinctive Opel Vizor is set to be a hallmark design element for all Opel models later in the 2020s.
      Interior around Pure Panel: Visual and digital detox for a relaxing oasis
      The airy interior of the Opel GT X Experimental follows the same principles and opts for visual and digital detox. Surrounded by the panoramic windscreen/roof and uninterrupted side-window, the cabin’s sleekness masks the innovations it holds in store. The interior’s standout feature is the instrument panel encased in a module that mimics the Opel Vizor – the Opel “Pure Panel”. One wide, single screen welcomes drivers and shows that the multitude of screens, buttons and controls often seen in current-day production vehicles could become obsolete. The Pure Panel enables drivers to have access to the latest technology and get the information they need while eliminating all visually distracting elements. The purity of the interior design can also be seen in the clever positioning of the air vents. They have been hidden behind the screens, allowing all-round pure, clean surfaces. The Pure Panel also shows how Opel allows technology to simplify customers’ lives. Two screens on the far left and right of the front panel display the side views captured by the small pop-out cameras. Elsewhere, the design of the steering wheel has been simplified while its centre module repeats the shape of the Opel Vizor. And, like its counterparts on the wheels, the LED Opel Blitz on its centre remains upright whatever the steering position.
      This clean high-tech approach flows throughout the interior. For example, the four seats look like they are floating while removable speakers nestled under the headrests also allow an out-of-car sound experience. Graphic details also highlight the strict purity of the design in the interior: the cropped triangle theme is repeated on the seat backs and the accelerator and brake pedals.

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