In a recent interview for Australian magazine Motoring, Opel's Performance Variants Manager Wilfried Dieh has announced the next Astra OPC hot hatch will be launched in 2017. He also said that a production version of the "OPC Extreme" concept shown in Geneva this year has not yet been approved, despite rumors that suggest the contrary.The first to downsize? From 2.0L to 1.6L
The real story is not that when the new OPC is coming, but what it's coming with. Dieh made it clear that the 2-liter turbo engine in the current model will be replaced by a smaller 1.6-liter that will develop around 280 horsepower, basically the same as the current model.
We really thought Peugeot would be the first to launch a hot hatch (C-segment, not B) with a powerful 1.6-liter turbo engine. They already have a concept on show, called the 308 R, and a 270 PS engine available in the RCZ R. But they're hesitant to put the two together and are even rumored to stop making sportscars due to lack of demand.
Kia's first-ever hot hatch, the pro_cee'd GT, also packs a 1.6-liter engine, though it's one that only produces around 200 horsepower.
Even though 2017 is still three years away, Opel could still be the first company to deliver serious performance from a 1.6-liter block. Already, the German company's 1.6 SIDI Turbo is available with 200 hp on the Astra, Insignia and a few other models.The battle of the bulge: Next OPC will be 150 kg lighter
Weight is the current Astra OPC's biggest enemy. In one of our recent comparison reports, we concluded that the 2014 Scirocco R is faster than its Opel rival simply because it's lighter. The VW coupe is actually based on old technology, which just goes to show what a massive disadvantage the massive 1,550kg (3,417lbs) weight of the OPC gives it.
The 2017 model will go on a massive 150 kg (330 lbs) diet, Wilfried Dieh said. This loss will be down to the more compact engine and a new platform.
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