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Opel's Astra takes the Extreme road

By Nathan Ponchard, 05 Mar 2014 Events

Opel Astra OPC Extreme

Lean and mean Astra Extreme may only be a concept, but Opel wants it – bad

Just months after Opel’s dramatic withdrawal from Australia comes the fastest, most over-the-top Astra ever conceived – the Astra OPC Extreme.

Based on the already impressive Astra OPC coupe, the Extreme is a design study intended to gauge demand for a purpose-built, track-focused Astra that Opel desperately wants to put into limited production.

Turning the OPC treatment up to about 15, the Extreme was born at the Nurburgring Nordschliefe and inherits much of its go-fast gear from the Astra OPC Cup racecar.

A crash diet has also helped the Extreme shed more than 100kg from the Astra coupe it is based on thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre.

The carbon wheels alone weigh 20kg less than the alloy versions they replace, while the front mudguards are made from aluminium and weigh just 800 grams each.

Under the Extreme’s carbon fibre bonnet gurgles the most powerful engine Opel has ever produced. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four punches out more than 300hp (221kW) and sends that thrust to the ground via a six-speed manual gearbox with limited-slip diff.

Then there are the brakes – whopping 370mm discs up front fitted with six-piston Brembo calipers, and joined by 245/35R19 semi-slicks specially developed for the Extreme.

The hot seat itself is a one-piece Recaro race bucket, just like the front passenger’s, and each with six-point harness belts. A roll cage fills the space where the back seat once was.

For Opel’s sake, though, here’s hoping enough punters fill their order books because a ‘mega hatch’ this cool deserves to become a production reality.