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Opel Zafira OPC

Broadcast dates : 27th March 2005
31st March 2005


Opel is renowned for producing good, smooth, high-performance engines and the 147 kiloWatt unit fitted to the Zafira delivers on all fronts.

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 kilometres-per-hour.

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 wheel.

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 well-priced at
R248 000, and its mix of space, handling and performance is unique.

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

  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, 1 998cc

  • Power:147 kW @ 5 600 rpm

  • Torque: 250 Nm @ 1 950 rpm

  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive

  • 0-100 km/h: 8,0 seconds (estimated) 

  • Top speed: 220 km/h (estimated)

  • Fuel consumption: 11,0 litres/100 km (estimated)

  • Price: R248 000

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