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Opel Insignia OPC Test How sporty is the most powerful series-produced Opel?

Frank Herzog
Opel Insignia OPC tested
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N a - the Opel Insignia is not a track and field athlete, not even in the OPC version. How should he? Extensive comfort equipment and traction-enhancing all-wheel drive have their price - at least on the scales. At 1,833 kilograms, the strongest production Opel of all time makes a rather heavy appearance. But the Rüsselsheim limousine, with 4.83 meters from the saber-toothed front to the rear with its massive exhaust tailpipes, is also one of the longest in the field of sporty middle-graders.

New competitor for the sporty middle class

Even Audi - otherwise not only like the measure of all things in this regard - leaves it at the 333 HP strong S4 at 4.71 meters. In contrast, the 4.51 meter long BMW 335i looks almost tiny. But what appears to be an advantage at first glance - keyword: space - also has tangible disadvantages. Whoever is taller is usually heavier. Weight, in turn, reduces agility. Against this background, the appearance of the Opel athlete with the power of 325 horses on the sport auto stage was eagerly awaited.

The OPC model is an excellent everyday car with sporty features

In fact, in large parts of Hockenheim, what the first exit is also confirmed in the Eifel and on the Opel proving ground in horse field: the large OPC model is an excellent everyday car with sporty facilities, but not a thoroughbred sports car. In addition to the high quality impression in the interior, the self-explanatory usability and high functionality of the Opel are particularly impressive in everyday use. Even the info menus stored on the left steering column stalk, which provide information on the relevant engine data in addition to the contents of the on-board computer or allow the lap time to be stopped independently, do not pose any major puzzles.

If you like, you can also make changes to the basic setup stored on the OPC key. If the tighter damper characteristics of the adaptive chassis are important to you, but the more aggressive response of the engine in OPC mode is not, you can deselect the sportier accelerator characteristics. Then the turbo engine works much more moderately, especially around the bottom. This freedom of choice makes sense in day-to-day dealings because the strong insignia in the OPC program with atakes some getting used to, because the accelerator pedal feels synthetic. Sometimes the head would simply expect a different result based on the movements of the foot. In other words: the movements of the accelerator are not converted into propulsion on time and one-to-one. This gives the driver the impression of a pushing turbo. The use of power takes place with a delay.

Lap time for the small Hockenheim circuit: 1.18.7 minutes

Interestingly, things are different on the racetrack. There, where you can choose to go digitally at full throttle or brake, the 60-degree V6 looks slightly constricted, especially at the top. Anyone who has got to know the Insignia OPC in everyday life would generally trust it more 'on track'. In fact, the sedan, with a well-tuned chassis without any significant tendency to roll (in OPC mode), could certainly use more lumbar strength. The quick turn-in, supported by a slightly swiveling rear end, is only followed by restrained thrust at the exit of a curve. The bottom line is that the Hessian takes 1.18.7 minutes on the small course in Hockenheim. This makes it significantly faster than, for example, a Mercedes C 350 CGI (1.20.4 minutes), but also much slower than the likewise turbo-fired and all-wheel drive Audi S4 (1.16.7 minutes). The BMW 335i, whose 306 twin-turbo horsepower attack the rear wheels, also takes 1.7 seconds off the Opel car on this terrain (see sport auto- Comparison of Audi S4 against BMW 335i ).

The Haldex system, known from numerous Audi models and also used at Opel, cannot be criticized in this regard. It distributes the driving forces according to the situation. Sustainable understeer is not an issue with the Opel Insignia OPC, despite the fact that the four-door model carries 58.1 percent of its weight on the front axle. The Hesse stays faithfully on track and, due to its concept, offers good traction. With regard to the Brembo brake system with floating “co-cast” brake discs on the front axle, one would have expected more. Despite disc diameters of 355 millimeters at the front and 315 millimeters at the rear, the braking performance of the brake gradually decreases as the load increases. After the tenth full brake application from 100 km /h, the package tied up in Italy grips with only 10.4 instead of the 11.0 m /s² initially realized. A softening pressure point can be seen on the pedal.

In the longitudinal acceleration, the test car stays from zero to 100 km /h half a second above the factory specification with 6.5 seconds, in the slalom it does well with an average speed of 66.1 km /h. The driving behavior in the pylon lane set at a distance of 18 meters is very balanced. The steering rear axle supportsthe agile overall impression of the all-wheel drive. The comparatively inexpensive entry into the great OPC pleasure is put into perspective by the rather undue thirst of the Hessen: With an average consumption of 15.3 liters, the powerful Opel Insignia ranks well ahead of the competition from Audi. At the beginning of the year, the S4 was satisfied with 14.1 liters of Super Plus per 100 test kilometers.


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