The all-new Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC is preparing for world premiere at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt and Goodwood festival in UK, as the company releases more details on it.
Opel’s rival for Volkswagen Scirocco is priced nearly a 1000 euro less than the basic VW Scirocco, but is it a better car than the mighty Scirocco? Well. let’s see.
The Astra GTC certainly got presence. The sporty coupe form is imposing and cool, yet kinda practical and convenient for everyday use. It only comes as a three-door car and while the normal looks pretty insane, there’s also a OPC/VXR version coming that’s even crazier.
While the Scirocco is more grown up and dignified, the Astra GTC looks younger and more energetic. you could say though, it’s a bit girly. We will hold on till 2012 to see the hotted-up OPC version.
The car has been developed from the ground up as a sporty driver’s car, so Opel is confident its performance will be more than satisfying for most people. The car features Opel/Vauxhall’s HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) used on the 325PS Insignia VXR/OPC specially adopted for European roads.
The HiPerStrut uses the existing attachment points from the regular Astra, and has a reduced kingpin inclination and a shorter spindle length. This reduces levels of torque-steer, improves grip – and therefore cornering power – while also enhancing steering precision and feedback. It also comes with FlexRide adaptive damping system.
Compared with the Astra Hatch, the GTC’s ride height has been lowered by 15mm, while the wheelbase has grown by 10mm, from 2685mm to 2695mm. Both tracks are wider, too, at 1584mm (+ 40mm) front and 1588mm (+ 30mm) rear. This allows the option of larger rims (up to 20-inch), as well as improving stability. Not only can the GTC accommodate four adults in comfort, but its luggage compartment provides between 370 and 1235 litres – over 200 litres more than some of the competition.
The Astra GTC can be ordered with a choice of four engines – one diesel and three petrols – which is a good job because you cannot have a car this goodlooking and then ruin it with bad diesel engines.
With 165PS, the 2.0 CDTi is an upgraded version of the diesel that’s fitted to some models in the Insignia and Astra ranges. All engines have a diesel particulate filter, six-speed transmission and Start/Stop as standard, maximising economy and performance. Delivering 380Nm of torque (including overboost function) the 2.0 CDTi engine provides excellent mid-range acceleration for the GTC, combined with a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 130mph.
Start/Stop and a six-speed gearbox are also standard on both versions of the 1.4-litre Turbo petrol engine. With either 120PS or 140PS, the 1.4T achieves a combined 47.9mpg and 139g/km of C02 emissions, yet each still delivers crisp performance with maximum torque of 200Nm delivered between 1850-4200rpm. The most powerful engine in the range is the 1.6-litre Turbo, which produces 180PS and allows the GTC to hit a top speed of 132mph.
It’s all good, but then again, we’re more interested in the OPC/VXR version which should have something like 300 PS!
Standard equipment is generous no matter which GTC model customers choose. Even in entry-level Sport trim, the GTC comes equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, DAB stereo and USB functionality. Move up to the top-spec SRi, and buyers get as standard tinted glass, onboard computer, leather-trimmed steering wheel and fog lamps. The latest generation Bi-Xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL), which offers nine separate light beams, is optional across the range.
A range of new colours and materials, bespoke to the GTC, set the car apart from others in the Astra range. Morello Red, a new premium leather trim, is also available as an option and brings with it six-way adjustable front seats.
And finally the pricing. The GTC range starts from 21,750 euro (Astra GTC Enjoy 1.4 Turbo 88 kW/120 hp) to 27,855 euro (Astra GTC Sport 2.0 CDTI 121 kW/165 hp) in Europe, and from £18,495 for the 120PS Sport 1.4 Turbo and extends to £22,430 for the 165PS SRi 2.0 CDTi, in the United Kingdom. Here’s the full pricelist for the UK: