Opel Corsa Turbo

Opel Corsa TurboThere’s something a bit scary about Opel’s OPC division (Opel Performance Centre is what that stands for I guess). They’re a bunch of crazed mentals who I can only assume have hair the colour of their cars, wear potatoes as shoes and drink NOS for their morning wake up.

There is an uncontrollable urge at the OPC to fit turbo chargers the size of the moon that posses enough boost to lift even the fattest American clean off the ground. Then they cover the car in super glue and drive at light speed through Auto Style’s accessories department allowing any and every spoiler, side skirt and bucket seat to become attached. Once this task has been achieved, they knock off work to go drink petrol and cut each others fingers off.

This leaves an insane looking car, with an insanely insane amount of power and otherwise standard components. Which is basically a recipe for a large accident with a side of death – that’s exciting and makes all OPC’s really great…

However the people at Opel itself are more normal, well not normal so much as German, but you get my drift. And obviously they decided that the mentalists at OPC have taken things one step too far with the Corsa. Instead they had a go themselves and came up with the Corsa Turbo.

Comes as no surprise then that the Turbo looks quite similar to the base model Corsa. The only real difference on the outside are the 17” alloys. And on the inside the seats are bucket ones, and the seat belts are red. Otherwise it’s bog standard…those leary Germans.

The 1.6 litre turbo charged engine produces enough power to make things interesting, however it’s some 40kW off the OPC version which makes being killed far less of an issue. The turbo lag is still an issue though as the boost always seemed to come in just when I was inclined to change gear leading to a rather jerky ride.

Otherwise the Turbo is a rather neat little car to drive. With the revs up, its nippy and responsive to a bit of enthusiasm. Thanks to a short wheel base, its sharp in the bends and gives great feedback. Especially nice is the weighty feel to the steering.

From an interior perspective, I can’t say I was blown away. The bucket seats were nice, but I would have such seats in any and every car just because they’re comfortable and supportive. The rest though was as I said, bog standard. And that’s never amazing is it, but there’s nothing wrong with it either. Everything worked, it wasn’t ghastly to look at and there was enough space for people and their things.

I just struggle to see the point in the Turbo – it’s a bit luke warm. If you want a Corsa, get the normal 1.6 with whatever bells and whistles you can. If you want to set you pants on fire, buy the OPC. Don’t muck about with something in between. This is however just my point of view – I assume there are some people out there who want some go without the show. Boring people. Germans, maybe.

Price: R 219 990
Engine: 1598cc Turbo Charged
Power: 110 kW
Torque: 210 Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.1
Top speed: 210 km/h
Fuel consumption: 7.9/100km (claimed – 8.6 on test)

Verdict – like a luke warm cup of NOS

Miles Downard
Photo Credit: Quickpic

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