Cars America Missed Out On: Opel Astra OPC

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Known in the UK as the Vauxhall Astra VXR.

The hot hatch market is currently experiencing an awakening in the US. Aside from the VW Golf GTI, there's now the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST, as well as familiar favorites like the MazdaSpeed3. We still think there's room for more. One of which could be a rebadged version of the Opel Astra OPC. Also sold as the Vauxhall Astra VXR in the UK, the Astra OPC is a familiar sight for Europeans. However, it's a hot hatch that Americans would absolutely love.

Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with direct injection, it's good for 276 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. It also sports a mechanical limited slip differential, Recaro-style seats, 19-inch alloy wheels (optional 20s), and unique front and rear-end styling compared to the standard Astra. The three-door hatch can make the sprint from 0-62 mph in six seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. There's been some talk about bringing the entire Astra lineup back to the US for Buick (it was once briefly here as a Saturn). If so, here's hoping the OPC or the VXR trim will arrive as well.

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