Opel's OPC performance sub-brand likely safe

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2015 Opel Corsa OPC

2015 Opel Corsa OPC

Since its sale last year by General Motors to French auto giant PSA Group, Opel has refrained from using its OPC (Opel Performance Center) designation for performance models, instead opting for GSi, which traditionally has sat below OPC.

It doesn't mean Opel has dropped the OPC sub-brand, however. In an interview with British website Car Buyer published Thursday, a spokesperson for Vauxhall, the brand Opel operates under in the United Kingdom, said the VXR sub-brand, Vauxhall's equivalent of OPC, will survive, suggesting the same will be true for OPC.

The likely cause of the current hiatus for OPC/VXR models are emissions regulations. The spokesperson said any new VXR models, and thus OPC models too, will need “more efficient power sources.” A possible solution could be utilizing electrification.

Parent company PSA Group also has more pressing issues. At the top of the list of priorities is getting models from Opel/Vauxhall to switch from GM platforms to those of PSA Group, since the brands now pay licensing fees for use of the GM platforms. Opel/Vauxhall are also not allowed to enter markets where GM operates using vehicles based on GM platforms.

Shown above is the last OPC/VXR model, which arrived in 2015 and was based on the Corsa subcompact. The Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo rival came with a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 delivering a class-leading 207 horsepower 180 pound-feet of torque (206 lb-ft with overboost). The car also came with a host of chassis mods honed on the Nürburgring.

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