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May 27, 2009

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The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer

The Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will hit dealerships later this year, but first it has to go through hell – the Green Hell of the Nürgurgring’s Nordschleife, considered the toughest, most demanding and dangerous race track in the world.

Opel engineers insist that all vehicles in their OPC range complete a rigorous 10,000 kilometer testing around the 20.8 km Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, dubbed the Green Hell by legendary race car driver Jackie Stewart.

Just a few days ago, the Insignia OPC sedan finished the challenge with no problems.

“The Insignia OPC sedan raced 487 laps for 12 days at some top speeds flawlessly. This kind of performance and quality is what we expect from all our Opel cars,” says Hans Demant, Managing Director of Opel.

The Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer boasts a 325 hp/239 kW, 435 Nm 2.8-liter V6 Turbo engine for maximum power.

It features high-tech elements, like a lower, reworked mechatronic chassis with FlexRide, an Adaptive 4x4 transmission with an electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) and purpose-built Brembo brakes – all complemented by spacious station wagon functionality with 1530 liters of load capacity.

Like the Insignia OPC sedan, the Sports Tourer is full of technological highlights.

The OPC engine is 25 percent more powerful than the 260 hp version of the 2.8 V6 Turbo in the Insignia Sport and Cosmo. The increase in power was obtained by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure, with special mufflers contributing to a sporty, deep sound. The unit comes with a six-speed manual transmission, enabling acceleration from zero to 100 in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted).

The management unit of the Adaptive 4x4 with eLSD has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Engineers at the Opel Performance Center developed a specific high-performance front axle called HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) for the chassis, which is 10 mm lower than the AWD Insignia Sport version. Benefits include reduced steering disturbances and an improved handling feel for the driver.

The OPC’s standard electronic FlexRide suspension has been adjusted for extra performance and caters to those enjoying a sportier ride. It offers three different sporty choices: The standard mode provides its most comfortable ride, a Sport mode is stiffer and a new OPC setting brings optimal fun.

Before it hits the roads in the fall, the new Opel Insignia OPC Sports Tourer will take its turn against the Green Hell: 10,000 fast kilometers on the Nordschleife translates to around 180,000 kilometers on the road. Modified tuning accommodates the station wagon’s shifted center of gravity, which is why the Sports Tourer suspension will be tested separately on the Ring.

The Insignia OPC Sports Tourer is the latest chapter in a long station wagon success story. As a pioneer in this segment, Opel brought the Olympia Rekord Car-A-Van, a combination of car and van, to Europe in 1953. In 1970 Opel built the Ascona Voyage, the first lifestyle station wagon.

The next innovation in this segment followed in 1991, when Opel presented the most powerful production station wagon in the world, the Omega Caravan 24V, a 3-liter, straight-six cylinder with 204 hp. The Vectra OPC continued the Opel tradition of powerful station wagons. It was available from 2005, ultimately as a high-performance front-wheel drive model with 280 hp.

The new 325 hp Opel Insignia OPC takes a huge step forward in terms of driving dynamics with even more power and the Adaptive 4x4 system. And the dynamic Sports Tourer version is also bound to turn heads.

(May 20, 2009)


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