Irmscher's Vision: Transforming the Opel Astra into a Widebody Hot Hatch

shawn By On 04/04/2024 at 10:40

In Car Renders

The renowned German tuner may release the wide bodykit in limited quantities, accompanied by a subtle increase in power.

Opel Astra Widebody

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The Opel Astra's absence from the hot hatch scene, post the demise of the OPC division, has left a void eagerly awaiting to be filled. Enterprising tuners are now endeavouring to rectify this oversight. Among them, Irmscher has stepped into the spotlight with an audacious design study dubbed the Astra IRC, boasting dynamic motorsport-inspired aesthetics.

Taking cues from the adrenaline-fueled World Rally Championship, Irmscher's Astra IRC emanates the spirit of touring racecars. Its defining characteristic lies in the pronounced widening of both front and rear fenders, seamlessly integrating vents that complement the striking 20-inch Hydra Star alloy wheels.

At the front, the Astra undergoes a radical transformation with a revamped bumper featuring enlarged intakes and a formidable splitter. This aggressive design language carries through to the rear, where a wide diffuser elegantly accommodates dual tailpipes and a third brake light. The pièce de résistance is the commanding rear wing, mounted with swan-style supports, which may raise eyebrows for its bold presence on a road-ready hatchback.


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Irmscher has remained tight-lipped about any potential chassis enhancements, yet it's evident that the Opel Astra IRC boasts lowered springs and wider tracks. Regarding power output, the company is aiming for 256 horsepower (191 kW / 260 PS), placing it in close competition with the refreshed VW Golf GTI. It falls short compared to top-tier hot hatches such as the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and the Audi RS3 Sportback.

The targeted power output suggests that the project may be based on the Opel Astra GSe, currently the flagship model in the line-up. This warm hatch incorporates a plug-in hybrid powertrain featuring a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a single electric motor, delivering a combined output of 222 horsepower (165 kW / 225 PS) and 360 Nm (265.5 lb-ft) of torque to the front axle via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

With some adjustments to the combustion engine, Irmscher could achieve the desired power output, although the bold exterior design leaves enthusiasts yearning for more. One enticing possibility could involve adopting the more potent 296 horsepower (221 kW / 300 PS) all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid setup from the Opel Grandland GSe, although this option is not currently available for the Astra.

Renderings of the Opel Astra IRC have been unveiled by the Remshalden-based tuner, hinting at the potential for limited production. While Irmscher has refrained from divulging specific details, it's speculated that further development may proceed contingent upon the level of interest expressed by prospective clients.


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