is renowned for producing good, smooth, high-performance engines
and the 147 kiloWatt unit fitted to the Zafira delivers on all
The Zafira OPC, which stands for Opel Performance Centre, is a
unique vehicle in this country, being a multi-purpose vehicle
with a serious performance bent.
Acceleration and top speed are well into hot-hatch territory,
with 0-100 in around eight seconds, and a top speed of about 220
And the Zafira OPC has all the attendant suspension and optical
tuning to do justice to the power-hike.
The OPC package extends to the interior with white-faced
performance instrumentation, alloy gear knob, Recaro
sports-seats, alloy pedals and a thick, leather-bound steering
The particular charm of the Zafira OPC is its ability to provide
the best of both worlds. It retains all the practicality of the
standard Zafira, such as seven seats. With the last row of seats
folded, luggage space is excellent.
Front-wheel-drive and lots of turbo-power can mean an
ill-handling beast. But the Opel comes with all the latest
electronic safety nets to sort out wheel-spin and terminal
understeer. And the suspension has been nicely firmed up.
Being a seven-seater, the Zafira is not your typical racetrack
puppy. Thereís lots of gravitational forces to overcome.
Being a turbo motor there is some throttle lag right at the
bottom of the rev range, which is exaggerated by the high mass
of the Zafira.
Despite strong performance, the OTC motor is somewhat muffled.
Stopping ability is good, with fat rubber and ABS, but Clint
wasnít happy with the brake-pedal feel.
The gear-change is a little vague, especially when pushing the
car to its limit, as Clint did all day long at Wesbank Raceway.
When down-changing and braking at the last second, itís vital
to find the right gear to power through the corner.
As far as body-lean is concerned, the OPC stays impressively
flat through fast sweeps and hairpins.
A very interesting exercise from Opel, this Zafira OPC. Itís
R248 000, and its mix of space, handling and performance is
Itís also quite good-looking in an oddball sort of way.
Opel has added another dimension to the term ďMulti Purpose
Vehicle.Ē If high-performance gives you a sense of purpose,
the Zafira may just be your ticket to ride.
Topping out Opelís
stand at Geneva was the second-generation Zafira, which goes on
sale in Europe in July.
This has a four-portal panoramic sunroof, which must have kept
the design studio absorbed for many months.
Opel Zafira OPC
Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, 1 998cc
kW @ 5 600 rpm
250 Nm @ 1 950 rpm
Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
km/h: 8,0 seconds (estimated)
speed: 220 km/h (estimated)
consumption: 11,0 litres/100 km (estimated)