This babe is a bundle of fun

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

The gods have definitely been smiling down on me recently.

Firstly, I had an extension in the use of the high-performance Opel Corsa OPC and then the Gauteng Metro cops decided to swop their vehicles for a spot of toyi-toying through Jozi.

So for a week or so Gauteng motorists didn't have the worry of bullet-proof vested officers jumping out from behind bushes - a KFC drumstick in one hand and a loaded .45 Colt in the other - and busting us for speeding.

The drumstick I can understand, the loaded .45 Colt I understand, but the need for a bullet-proof vest?

"Hiding behind the bushes, you never know when a branch might fall on you," an officer once explained when I enquired.

You see, trying to drive the OPC within the speed limits of the land is like Overeaters Anonymous having a buffet lunch at the Boston Barbeque. And then being told to stick to the salad bar ... damn impossible.

Sure the OPC (Opel Performance Centre) carries the Corsa badge but compare this: The Corsa Lite generates 65kW of power - the OPC a mouth-watering 141kW; top speed for the Lite 166km/h - the OPC's 1,6-litre turbo a jail-inducing 225km/h.

In other words, the OPC is basically a Corsa Lite on steroids!

Judging by the stares I received while driving the vehicle, it definitely falls into the "boy-racer" category and is probably the envy of every 18-year-old in Lenasia and Eldorado Park.

The lowered suspension and body-kit - with fins back and front that remind me of a Great White shark - add to the aura.

Inside the Recaro, seats offer that racing car feel and the six-speed gearbox a pleasure to use.

Go heavy with the right foot and you quickly find yourself well over 120km/h while still in third gear and the engine roaring as it redlines at the 6500rpm mark.

The vehicle comes with all the bells and whistles and the three-spoke steering wheel is also home to controls for the powerful sound system.

Eighteen-inch wheels - backed by ABS brakes and electronic traction control - plus the single exhaust in the rear centre of the vehicle all add to its look.

On the negative side, I found that the slightly small (45-litre) tank needed refilling quite often and I found visibility slightly obscured on the right-hand side when reversing due to the high nature of the seat.

Overall there is no doubt the OPC is a hell of a lot of fun. Whether the price tag of R243950 is justified depends on how serious you take your driving.