Vauxhall edges towards production of extreme Astra
The outrageous Astra Coupe X-Treme concept, based on the car currently competing in the German Touring Car series, could hit British roads next year.
The Opel Performance Centre (OPC), a subsidiary company responsible for Opel’s European motor sport and the development of high-performance versions, has developed and built the car following eight wins from 16 starts in the German DTM in 2000.
The X-Treme engine produces a maximum power output of 444bhp at 7350 rpm – enough to propel the car from a standstill to 62mph in just four seconds. Top speed is over 187mph.
The X-Treme delivers its vast power to the rear wheels through a carbon-fibre reinforced clutch, a sequential six-speed, transaxle gearbox and a mechanical-action limited-slip differential.
Some details of the road-going car’s suspension are shared with the racing car, although bespoke double wishbone suspension is used at front and rear. Drivers of the Astra Coupe X-Treme can emulate the DTM racers by selecting their own personal suspension set-up, as the stabilisers and the shock-absorber bump and rebound settings can be varied to suit.
The Astra features the same ventilated, carbon-fibre reinforced brake discs and six-piston aluminium callipers as the DTM car to provide stunning stopping capability.
Some development work has been carried out on the front and rear spoilers of the body to make the Astra Coupe X-Treme a little less radical than the DTM car.
More rounding-off work has been performed at the body panel joints, the outside mirrors and the side panels, while the two twin exhaust tailpipes add symetry to the design.
A specially created bright red eight-coat paint finish is complemented by 20-inch wheels which feature central fastenings and which replace the 18-inch wheels demanded by the DTM championship.
On the inside, the Astra Coupe X-Treme’s interior is trimmed with Alcantara and brushed aluminium to convey a strong impression of high-grade technology and reflect its performance credentials.
Seat shells are reinforced with carbon fibre and upholstered to a much higher level of comfort than the racing original. The driver and front passenger are provided with a five-point seat belt harness while the steering wheel is the same as that used for the VX220.
Rumours are that the car will enter production next year, with a price tag of over £300,000. Regardless of the car's sporting credentials, this will make the Vauxhall even more expensive than some prestige brand supercars, including the forthcoming Porsche Carrera GT and Mercedes SLR.