It’s no secret that I love the Opel Insignia, so I’m always interested when a new variant appears on the market – especially when it’s of the OPC variety (not to be confused with the OPC Line trim).
Created by experts at the Opel Performance Centre, the Insignia OPC combines the style and sophistication synonymous with the executive model with the power and exhilaration of a performance car.
It does, of course, have its subtle exterior styling markers – the air vents on the front bumper, the door sills, twin exhausts at the rear and, of course, the OPC badge. Those in the know will spot these design cues (as we observed while out and about in our stunning Power Red test car), others will be none the wiser.
Inside, there’s a beautiful leather interior with firm Recaro sports seats, a flat bottomed steering wheel and OPC badges. The suspension too is firm, but surprisingly forgiving over bumps.
Cabin and cubby space in this car mirrors the regular Insignia and is generous. The boot, also, is huge.
Seats are very comfortable, with loads of leg and headroom. The front seats in our test car were of the electric variety. There’s room for two adults in the back, with a pull down armrest with two cup holders for extra luxury.
Standard spec in the OPC includes an 8in touchscreen infotainment unit with Bluetooth connectivity and SatNav; auto lights and wipers; cruise control and electronic climate control.
With this car, however, I’m back to my gripe about the electric parking brake. It operates perfectly fine, but the light doesn’t say on long enough for you to double-check that it has engaged.
Our test car was fitted with a very good blind spot monitor, which was just as well as I found the side of the huggy Recaro seat restricted my view. I don’t think that taller drivers would have had this problem though.
And those are my only two issues with the design of the Insignia OPC.
Our test car was a six-speed manual V6 Turbo 4×4 and it was a dream to drive. You can feel how good this car is from the moment you turn the key in the ignition.
There are three drive modes in the Insignia OPC – normal, sport and OPC. The car handles excellently in all drive modes, gear changes are smooth and it’s quite agile for a vehicle of its size.
I found that there wasn’t a lot of difference between sport and normal, both provide a beautiful drive and the car feels solid and planted whether you’re in the city or on the motorway.
It’s absolutely fantastic in OPC mode – you can really feel the kick in the 2.8l 325PS engine as you work through the gears. We took it for a spin up the Wicklow mountains and the experience was just sheer exhilaration both in terms of handling and acceleration.
However, with much pleasure also comes much pain, and in the case of the Insignia OPC that’s in the form of the €2,350 annual road tax bill – you’ll also probably be on first name terms with the staff at your local petrol station.
Overall, though, road tax aside, I think the Opel Insignia OPC is a fabulous car – it’s beautiful to look at and amazing to drive.
The top of the range Opel Insignia OPC 4×4 is available now, with prices starting from €53,595. Prices for the Insignia range start from €24,995.
Engine: 2.8i V6 24v Turbo (325PS) 4×4 petrol
Maximum Speed: 250kph
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 6seconds
CO2 emissions: 249g/km
Combined fuel economy: 10.6l/100km
Annual road tax: €2,350