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Opel to keep OPC but with likely hybrid assistance


Despite reviving the iconic GSI badge last year for the Insignia and more recently the Corsa, Opel’s UK sister brand, Vauxhall, has indicated that the VXR (OPC) designation will live on, but likely with some form of hybrid assistance.

According to Britain’s, an unnamed Vauxhall spokesperson has stated that VXR derivatives will employ a plug-in or electrified powertrain of sorts instead of a “large capacity engine with six or eight cylinders and a turbocharger or two. It’ll need more efficient power sources”.

“We haven’t lost this sporting brand, and it will remain at the forefront of performance motoring in the mainstream,” the spokesperson said, adding that, “(VXR models) will always be a hardcore offering, with a jump in performance as well as very focused dynamics”.

The online platform reports that VXR versions of the Corsa and Astra, the latter still based on the previous generation model, have since been dropped from Vauxhall’s model line-up due to new emissions regulations, while the only other VXR, the rear-wheel drive, V8 engine VXR8, ended production in October last year after Holden ended local assembly of the Commodore after 39 years.

However, the still General Motors (GM) owned division has kept the VXR moniker for the performance version of the new ZB Commodore, which replaced the SS or Super Sport designation in light of Opel/Vauxhall’s sale to the PSA Group, and because of the rights belonging to GM.

With an all-new Corsa expected to debut next year and an all-electric variant following in 2020, the VXR/OPC model will likely come underpinned by PSA’s CMP platform that will also serve as a base for the next Peugeot 208.

In spite of Opel’s acquisition by Unitrans Group owned Williams Hunt last year, it remains to be seen whether the Corsa GSI will be offered in South Africa as its introduction could possibly clash with the already performance flavoured Corsa Sport.

Article written by Autodealer
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