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2001 Opel Astra OPC X-Treme Concept

The 2001 Opel Astra OPC X-Treme Concept emerged as a pinnacle of motor sport engineering translated into a road car, originating from Opel's motor sport department in 1999. This concept materialized following Opel's showcase of an Astra Coupé race car design study and a vision for the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) championship at the Essen Motor Show.

Driven by Opel and Mercedes, the DTM championship was successfully reintroduced in 2000, with Opel achieving notable success in the season, including eight wins from 16 starts and securing the championship runners-up title. At the 2001 Geneva Motor Show, Opel presented the Astra Coupé OPC X-Treme, a supersport design study designed for normal road use. Developed by Opel Performance Center GmbH (OPC), a subsidiary established in 1997, this concept was a testament to Opel's commitment to both motor sport and the creation of high-performance road vehicles.

The Astra Coupé OPC X-Treme was a swift creation, taking only seven weeks of collaborative effort between OPC engineers, Opel designers, and the International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim to transform the DTM Astra Coupé into a ready-to-run road car. Retaining the high-tech features of the DTM car, the X-Treme featured gull-wing doors, a spaceframe, and rigid components reinforced with carbon fiber.

The heart of the X-Treme was its 4.0-liter V8 engine with four valves per cylinder, capable of producing 444 horsepower and delivering power to the rear wheels through a sequential-shift six-speed transaxle gearbox. The suspension system comprised double wishbones, and carbon-fiber-reinforced disc brakes ensured effective stopping power.

The transformation for road use involved restyling the exterior, with designer Ulli Hochmuth creating a more harmonious and refined appearance. Changes included a single-section front spoiler, a smoother rear end with a diffusor, and 20-inch OPC-designed wheels. The car was finished with a striking fiery red eight-coat paint.

Inside, the Astra Coupé OPC X-Treme exhibited a higher standard of trim, featuring Alcantara and brushed aluminum. The interior conveyed a sense of high-grade technology, sports character, and meticulous workmanship. The driver and front passenger were secured with five-point seat belt harnesses, and the central instrument display provided essential technical information.

Despite the modifications for road use, the X-Treme maintained a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 2.59 kilograms per horsepower. The 4.0-liter V8 engine, positioned behind the front axle, delivered peak torque of 530 Nm at 4800 rpm. Adjustments to valve timing, compression ratio, and engine-management software ensured suitability for daily driving, with the car capable of low-rev cruising in higher gears.

The Astra Coupé OPC X-Treme showcased its performance with a four-second acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h and a top speed exceeding 300 km/h. This red-painted rocket, with its exceptional engineering and aerodynamics, firmly established itself among the elite in the high-performance sports car segment.

Source & Images: Opel