Official: Hot Opel Astra OPC / Vauxhall Astra VXR gets 280 Ponies, on Sale in 2012

It’s finally official; the production version of the most powerful model in the new Astra GTC range that will be marketed as the Opel Astra OPC in mainland Europe and as the Vauxhall Astra VXR in Britain.

These pictures show the Vauxhall model but the styling and the performance specifications are common between the two Astra GTC-based hot hatches.

Power is derived from a new 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder engine capable of 280-horsepower and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque that are channeled to the front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox and a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential.

These numbers bring the flagship Astra GTC straight into Volkswagen Golf R and Scirocco R turf.

GM’s European division said that the Astra OPC / Astra VXR can reach a top speed of 155mph (250km/h) but did not give out a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time.

The hottest Astra also benefits from a raft of bespoke chassis mods including Brembo brakes and a retuned suspension with the firm’s fully adaptive FlexRide system that features three settings: Normal, Sport and VXR/OPC, with the latter promising more focused stages of damper, throttle and steering control.

The company highlights the fact that much of the chassis development was done at the infamous Nordschleife and was overseen by Le Mans 24-hour race winner, Jo Winkelhock who stated: “We have devised a great package that will convince even the most experienced and enthusiastic drivers – and not just on the Nürburgring!”

On the styling front, the automaker’s designers opted for sleek visual identifiers such as the new sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a roof spoiler and two prominent exhaust tail pipes in a trapezoid shape.

The interior gains a pair of scrumptious sport bucket seats with embossed logos in the backs, a flat-bottomed and thick-rimmed sports steering wheel and upgraded instrument panels.

For more details and on-sale dates, we’ll have to wait until early next year. And because we’re pretty sure that some will pop the question, despite recent rumors about Buick getting the Astra GTC, GM has not made any official comments on the matter.

*Update: We’ve added photos of the Opel Astra OPC in the gallery below

PHOTO GALLERY

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