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Insignia OPC is simply chavtastic

'THERE are known knowns, and there are known unknowns,' as a famous, if slightly confused Defense Secretary once pondered.

What Donald Rumsfeld was clearly talking about was the Irish Motor Writers Association annual shortlist for the Car of the Year.

This year is as confusing as ever as the IMWA members have drawn up a somewhat baffling selection of cars for the yearly hootenanny, in which a final shortlist has emerged with some glaring omissions.

On the original list the brilliant Lexus GS was included, a car so good, it should be the car of the year, but it doesn't even make the final nominations.

Then there was the inclusion of the Porsche Boxster and the 911 on the long list, but neither car is available to test drive on the motor writing fleet -- even still, neither car made it onto the final nominations.


And for some reason Audi, the success story of the luxury market, has no cars on the final bun fight even though the A3 and Q3, in particular, are fabulous machines.

But the greatest omission of all is THE Car of the Year, the brilliant Ford Focus EcoBoost 1.0 litre.

A car that has been lauded around the world for its frugality and ingenuity, not to mention the fact this is a vehicle that punches way above its power.

Surely in Ireland, when a car with sophisticated styling, sensible pricing and all-round brilliance should surely be top of any end of year charts -- even the IMWA's.

But No it didn't even make the original shortlist ... of 36!

The itsy bitsy VW UP! was there and that's about as small and cheap as they come, and there was a Fiat Panda and FOUR Chevrolets.

The mind boggles, but there you go, popularity competitions are always going to be unpopular, and this in the same week when the NNI announced its journalism awards winners.

The good news for fans of Opel is that the Zafira Tourer got a mention but it could also have included the delicious Insignia OPC -- the greatest executive boyracer of the year.

The OPC is all things to all men and boys, it is distinguished, it is utterly chavtastic and it is a monster of a machine thanks to quite ridiculous 2.8 litre, V6 24v engine which hammers out a massive 325bhp.

This is the kind of car that revs in the drive without even tickling the accelerator, it's the black dog of motoring, barking away at you, teasing you into dangerous thoughts.

And these dangerous thoughts are easily sated once out on the open road, with a level of power and acceleration that can seriously affect the seat of your pants with one hell of a big kick.

The acceleration does take a little bit of teasing to get the full force out and roaring but once kicked then the ride is quite extraordinary, not to mention the Subaru-like growls that accompany.

The down side, and there always is when dealing with this much power, is that it will cost you a small African country to tax, and the price is quite exclusive in the mid €50ks.

But this is fantasy driving, and throw in a few extras such as sat nav, centre console, 7 inch colour screen and an overall body kit that looks both sophisticated and killer, it is stuff of dreams.

The Insignia OPC will cost you from €54,380.