2012 Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC: official details, photos, specs and price

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 6, 2011

Opel/Vauxhall is preparing to launch the Astra GTC later this year – a car that it claims will be the most dynamic car in its class. Developed in the UK, the Astra GTC is meant to go up against the Renault Mégane coupé and Volkswagen Scirocco. The Vauxhall Engineering Centre made this three-door coupé undergo extensive chassis tuning.

The carmaker claims that as a result, this car has “unmatched stability and handling precision.” Vauxhall gave all the models the Insignia VXR’s sophisticated HiPer strut front suspension and combined it with a Watt’s link axle at the rear – a move that enhances steering precision and feedback, lessens torque steer, and boosts grip and cornering power.

Retained from the GTC’s five-door sister car are just the door handles and roof aerial. Its ride height is lower by 10 mm; its wheelbase is 10 mm longer; and the track is wider by 40 mm at the front and wider by 30 mm at the rear. The Astra GTC has received FlexRide adaptive damping that instantly adjusts to varying road surfaces and driving styles. At just the touch of a button, the driver may select the mode -- whether Standard, Sport or Tour.

The body panels of the five-door aren’t retained and its styling stays true to the GTC Paris concept by Opel/Vauxhall design chief Mark Adams that was unveiled last year.

Adams had intended to build a car that appears to belong to a higher class, “with its low, wide stance and simple, yet rakish lines.” Included in this lineup of turbocharged engines are a 1.4 petrol that has either 118bhp or 138bhp, a 178bhp 1.6 petrol and a 163bhp 2.0 diesel.

Vauxhall hasn’t released the final performance figures yet but the 1.6 petrol is expected to reach 132mph. Offering the best figures is the diesel version, which can go from a standstill to 62mph in 8.9sec and reach a 130mph top speed. It also offers a CO2-emissions rating of 129g/km and a combined economy of 57.6mpg.

All GTCs are equipped with stop-start and a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Vauxhall asserts that even if the GTC has a sleek profile, it can seat four adults and their luggage comfortably. It has a boot space of 370 litres but when the rear seats are folded, it can go as high as 1235 litres.

While other coupes are limited by what they can do on the road, the new Opel Astra GTC is not. In terms of cargo capacity, the new Opel Astra GTC could hold between 380 liters and 1.165 liters, as storage room inside the cabin has been increased by 50 percent compared to its predecessor.

The Cosmo variant of the new Opel Astra GTC features as standard an electric parking brake (EPB), which also helps distribute space efficiently inside the vehicle especially in the central console where storage capacity is much needed.

Depending on the features installed in the new Opel Astra GTC, up to 19 storage facilities will be available. As expected, the flowing and sculptural shape of the exterior is mirrored inside with circular features and curved surfaces. The interior boasts of a wing-like instrument panel hugging the front occupants with its wide arc, while the upper portions of the door panels seem take on the appearance of wing tips offering protection.

Meanwhile, the sickle shape usually linked with Opel has made its presence felt in certain design features, like the shape of the chrome door knobs and the gear stick cover. Also, the vehicle’s central console features a flat angle to create a flowing transition from the dash board to the gearbox, thereby enhancing the spacious nature of the Opel Astra GTC’s interior. Boosting the pleasant overall cabin atmosphere are certain details like the chrome instrument fittings and knobs as well as the genial back-lighting.

On the other hand, the new Opel Astra GTC features new materials, colors and patterns. For instance, the new Opel Astra GTC could now be in various color combos like Imola, Black or Imola, Black/Morrocana, Red/Morrocana or Black for its middle seat segments and the side panels. These combos would perfectly complement the décor panels finished in piano-lacquer style. Opel is offering a full range of leather accessories for the Opel Astra GTC, like the "Dinamica-Black" velour leather.

Standard features found in the new Opel Astra GTC include the easy-to-grip sports steering wheel and extra-flexible front seats. Offered as an option is the ergonomic sports seat that is adjustable in eight different positions and is marked with the quality seal from the "Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V."

Press Release

Opel Astra GTC

The new Opel Astra GTC´s sculpted shapes with precise accents and dramatic proportions make it the ultimate expression of Opel´s design language. And on the road, all Opel Astra GTC versions benefit from a premium front axle layout with HiPerStrut - High Performance Strut - that ideally combines with the clever Opel patented Watt's link rear axle to provide unmatched stability and the sharpest driving precision. Other innovations in the new Astra GTC include driver assistance systems based on the second generation Opel Eye front camera with expanded functionality and the new, fourth generation Bi-Xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+).

Unlike many three-door versions of existing compact hatches, the GTC will be a standalone model in Opel's range and the ultimate Astra in design and driving dynamics. It does not share any exterior element with other members of the Astra family, except for the outside rear view mirror housing and the rod antenna. Six of the seven 17- to 20-inch wheel designs on offer are also GTC-only features.

Also exclusive for the new Opel Astra GTC is the panoramic windscreen. For the unique feature, which successfully made its production debut 2006 in the previous Astra GTC generation, Opel engineers filed a total of 11 patents during its development. The large panoramic windshield extends seamlessly from the hood up into the roof as far as the B-pillar. With no cross-member to spoil the view, it offers driver and passengers a unique driving experience and a completely new sense of space and visibility with an almost unlimited field of vision, similar to the view from a jetplane cockpit.

Sharp looks enhance Opel's design language

The Opel Astra GTC manages to combine the best of both worlds: on the one hand passion and emotion, on the other a high degree of utility in day to day usage. Its sleek looks are very striking and are the very essence of Opel's design language. The atmosphere of the roomy interior is sporty and classy. The loading capacity (1.165 liters) is considerably greater than that of its direct competitors. "The Astra GTC expresses our passion for cars," the Opel/Vauxhall Vice President for Design, Mark Adams, explains. "This represents our most emotional vehicle so far, yet it does not sacrifice on the emotional with the functional side."

In contrast to many other coupés which are often merely hatchback variants of a sedan, the Opel Astra GTC is a standalone car within the Opel product spectrum. It is the sharpest looking Astra when it comes to design and the very essence of what a coupé should be, because of its extraordinary usefulness in day to day situations. None of the components in the Astra GTC have been lifted from other Astras, apart from the mounting of the rear mirror and the aerial.

The design team was tasked with giving a new and dynamic expression of its mission statement of "sculptural artistry meets German precision". They came up with a car that is as uncompromising as a wild cat, crouching down on the street, ready to leap. However, at the same time it can be gentle and playful. "The essence of the new Opel design language is to reduce everything to the maximum. And the Opel Astra GTC is our most radical interpretation of that," says the Opel Exterior Design Director, Malcolm Ward. "We wanted to create a really attractive car made up of only a few key dynamic lines."

There are only three lines that create tension and define the outline of the silhouette.

A fine, crisp line sweeps downward from the front door to the bottom of the rear fender and energizes the body side. A second line encapsulates the door handle and stretches to the rear, emphasizing the GTC's dramatic stance by spreading the surfaces to a fine undercut and a broad shoulder. The third line follows the clean, sporty silhouette of the roof.

No compromising on design

The designers' unwillingness to compromise, particularly when designing the GTC shoulder area, put the whole engineering team up against a challenge. The sheet metal sections needed to be pressed unusually deeply to enable realization of the wide shoulder and dominant wheelhouses from the sketch and clay model. Just a few years ago, this would have been technically impossible. A "real" door made of steel was built earlier than usual, so that new production methods could be tested - and to help determine if the final car could do justice to the initial vision. And it did.

"This really required teamwork. We were in constant contact with the package group and manufacturing engineers," Andrew Dyson recalls. "We needed to translate the emotional side of the sketches onto street level." Dyson remembers how during the GTC project experts from different disciplines were engaged in a battle to build the best possible car.

Panoramic windscreen offers unique vistas

The Opel Astra GTC is a standalone car in its own right and its striking design re-enforces that impression. The Vice President of Design, Mark Adams, wants to avoid what he calls the "Russian Dolls" effect, where all models look the same and just differ in size. He states that "It is important that each vehicle in our portfolio has its own personality, because each has a unique role in our portfolio and appeals to different customers."

Therefore the panoramic windscreen was reserved exclusively for the Opel Astra GTC within the Astra family. The windscreen gives the racy compact coupé a dynamic look and a luxurious note. The large front windscreen stretches all the way to the middle of the car roof and gives the driver and the passengers an extraordinary visual, space and driving experience. In contrast to other glass roof solutions, in this case there is no transverse spar that reduces visibility. On the contrary, the roof boosts the roominess of the interior, thus improving the driving experience. The driver, his co-pilot and the passengers in the rear are able to enjoy a vista, similar to what pilots experience under the light plane canopies.

From the outside, the panoramic windscreen together with its black metallic steel roof looks like a continuous surface. The A and B pillars are also coated in black as well as the roof liner, reinforcing the impression of a homogenous surface. In the event of very powerful sun rays a roller blind can be lowered inside the cabin which sits under the panoramic glass. This helps create a pleasant atmosphere. The device which is continuously variable can be easily adjusted and then may be attached with a turning handle. The solar protection comes complete with an integrated sun visor which even in its opened state disappears behind the rear roof component.

Athletic powerhouse with practical strengths

In contrast to its competitors, the Opel Astra GTC is not handicapped by its coupé pedigree to deal with every situations on the road. The flexible boot that can load between 380 and 1.165 liters, comes in addition to the room for five passengers. The storage space inside the cabin was increased by 50 percent in comparison to its predecessor. In the Cosmo variant, the electric parking brake (EPB) is a basic feature and contributes to an efficient space distribution in the Opel Astra GTC. Specifically in the central console, where storage capacity is normally much in demand, the EPB pays off. It means that depending on which features have been added to the car, there are up to 19 storage facilities on board.

The flowing and sculptural shape of the outside body work is continued on the inside with curved surfaces and circular features. The wing-like instrument panel embraces the front seats in a wide arc. Similar to wing tips the upper segments of the door panels give the impression of a broad span that offers protection. The sickle shape, associated with Opel, is also reflected in the design features, for example in the shape of the shiny, chrome door knobs and the gear stick cover. The elegant central console has been fitted with a flat angle, creating a harmonious, flowing transition from the dash board to the gear box.

This in turn enhances the roominess of the interior. The overall atmosphere is very pleasant thanks to décor details such as the chrome instrument fittings and knobs or the juxtaposition of the user-friendly surfaces and the pleasant back-lighting.

New materials, colors and patterns give a further boost to the very sporty nature of the Opel Astra GTC. For example, the color combinations include Imola, Red/Morrocana, Black or Imola, Black/Morrocana, Black for the middle seat segments and the side panels. They are the ideal combination with the décor panels which are painted in piano-lacquer style. Further leather accessories are also available, including the elegant velour leather "Dinamica-Black". The sports steering wheel which is easy to grip is part of the basic features and fits perfectly with the nature of the Opel Astra GTC. The front seats have the highest degree of flexibility in the segment in order to do justice to every style of driver. Another optional extra is the ergonomic sports seat which can be adjusted in eight different positions. The seat carries the quality seal from the German healthy back association "Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V."

Bespoke layout for the ultimate driving experience

Like its predecessor, the new Astra GTC is a standalone model in its own right within the Opel product spectrum. Its breathtaking looks and dynamic handling were the focal points at the development stage. The bespoke chassis layout of the sporty compact car delivers a sense of fun and precise handling. The chassis of the new GTC is 15 millimeters lower than that of the 5-door Astra, while the wheelbase has grown by 10mm, from 2685mm to 2695mm. Both tracks are wider, too, at 1584mm (+40mm) front and 1588mm (+30mm) rear. The end result is that the Opel Astra GTC has a strong presence on the road.

High-tech front suspension appeals to sports fans

Right from the start of the GTC's development program the target was to deliver a driver-oriented feel to the car. The precise response of steering and dampers should not reduce comfort and performance in daily traffic. The solution is called HiPerStrut (High-Performance Strut). In all its versions, the Opel Astra GTC possesses this exclusive high-performance suspension strut. It is based on the system currently seen on the 239 kW/325 hp Insignia OPC. In its newly adapted form to the compact coupe, the new front suspension provides better handling and more responsive steering - just what sports car drivers are looking for. The HiPerStrut uses the same pick up points, but achieves a reduction of the inclination angle by 44 percent and shortens the spindle length (kingpin offset) by 46 percent with a reduced lever arm. This helps prevent torque-steer - a trait of many powerful front-wheel-drive cars - allowing drivers to make more use of the GTC's performance without the steering being corrupted.

Rear axle with Watt's link optimizes comfort and car handling

The combination of compound-crank axle and Watt's link which has proven successful in the 5-door Astra, is also being used in the Opel Astra GTC. This rear axle system is lighter and more compact than a multi-link rear suspension and provides better lateral stability. The Watt's link is fitted to a small cross-member attached to the underside of the car, just behind the rear wheel center line. It comprises a short, pivoting center link with a ball joint at each end, to which the lateral links from the wheels are bolted. In a straight line, the set up ensures excellent stability, but during cornering it minimizes lateral deflection in the same way a modern multi-link system would do. Opel's engineers estimate that the linkage absorbs around 80 percent of all lateral loads on the rear suspension. In addition, the Watt's link allows for softer bushings, which no longer have to compensate for toe changes at the rear of the car, and thus there is a reduction in annoying factors such as vibration from the road surface and noise level.

In summary: the unique combination of lateral and camber stiffness, especially when driving in bends, give the Opel Astra GTC steering precision and stability. Friction is reduced within the suspension, while elasticity in the direction of travel mean the vehicle is well sprung and ensures good absorption.

Mechatronic FlexRide boosts safety and driving fun

The lay out of the Astra GTC chassis has been designed to perfectly integrate Opel's intelligent, fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system. FlexRide links the separate electronic driving assistance components to one another, including the ESC stability control and the adaptive dampers, CDC. In this way, the chassis automatically adapts to road conditions, cornering speed, vehicle movements and individual driving style. Better handling and vehicle balance also enhance driving safety in emergency situations. In addition, the driver can chose from three different FlexRide settings at the touch of a button: one can choose anytime between the balanced Standard mode, the comfort-oriented "Tour" mode or the more active "Sport" mode.

Precise steering with electric power steering

Precision, feedback and confidence: these were the three target elements for the GTC's bespoke steering program. The challenge was to optimize the Rack-assist electric power steering REPS in such a way that it would feel lighter at lower speeds while at the same time offering closer contact with the road surface at higher speeds. The Opel Astra GTC uses a rack and pinion steering system with speed sensitive assistance. But in order to provide drivers with a more precise steering response, the system's electric motor was mounted directly on the steering rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column. At higher speeds, the power steering assistance is automatically reduced so that the driver can steer in a more precise fashion than with conventional power steering. The second important benefit is that, because it does not require an energy consuming hydraulic pump and responds directly to the amount of power needed at any speed, fuel consumption is also reduced.

Broad engine spectrum for new compact coupé

Since the start of orders, the new Opel Astra GTC has been available with a choice of five engines - a powerful 2.0 liter turbo diesel with 121 kW/165 hp alongside four agile gasoline engines with outputs from 74 kW/100 hp to the 1.6 turbo with 132 kW/180 hp. All engines are compliant with Euro-5. Apart from the entry-level gasoline version, all engines are combined with six-gear manual transmissions. Further high performance engines will be launched next year, including the 206 kW/280 hp OPC variant. The diesel spectrum will then be extended at the start of 2012 with further two engines: both are 1.7 liter CDTI variants, either as a 81 kW/110 hp or as a 96kW/130 hp version. They are equipped with fuel saving Start/Stop technology. Soon Opel will launch a new 121/165 hp diesel unit with a user-friendly six-gear automatic transmission.

Nippy 1.6 turbo

Fans of sporty cars will appreciate the great sense of fun the 1.6 liter, 132 kW/180 hp engine has to offer. The nippy turbo ensures that the GTC can achieve a top speed of 220 km/h. It can accelerate the engine from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.3 seconds. The powerhouse boasts a maximum torque of 230 Newton meters with only 168 g/km in CO2 emissions. In order to cope with the higher operating temperatures which are typical in a turbo, the engine's outlet valves have been filled with sodium. In addition, the piston head has been fitted with splash oil cooling. Furthermore, a map-controlled thermostat increases the coolant temperature at lower revolutions. This improves the fluidity of the engine oil, while decreasing friction and reducing fuel consumption.

Powerful and sporty two-liter diesel

The Common-Rail turbo diesel 2.0 CDTI engine has 121 kW/165 hp and maximum torque of 350 Newtonmeters. Thanks to the Overboost function, the sporty compact car can draw 380 Nm torque at short notice. The engine performance enables the car to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.9 s. Its maximum speed is 210 km/h. The engine combines a powerful driving performance with a high level of economy. In fact, the average fuel consumption is a mere 4.8 liters on 100 kilometers. This is equivalent to 127 g/km of CO2 emissions. This 2.0 CDTI version of the Opel Astra GTC can travel more than 1.100 km on a tank of 56 liters. The Opel Start/Stop system which has its greatest fuel saving potential in town traffic is a standard feature.

Optimized motor management ensures that the 2.0 CDTI engine can run efficiently in any condition. Cylinder pressure censors fitted to the spark plugs make this possible (Cleantech Combustion Technology) and ensure more precise combustion control. The new multiple injection system works at a pressure of 1.600 bar and delivers up to five injections per cycle. It refines the combustion process and hereby lowers the fuel consumption. The bearings used by the twin upper camshafts were improved by the Opel engineers which in turn reduces friction and saves fuel.

Two new 1.7 CDTI models expand the spectrum in 2012

The diesel engine offering in the compact coupe segment will be complimented by two new 1.7 CDTI engines at the start of 2012. The Common-Rail direct injection engines deliver 81 kW/110 hp or 96 kW/130 hp and provide torque of 280 and 300 Nm respectively. The Start/Stop technology comes as a standard feature in the Opel Astra GTC 1.7 CDTI version. This means that carbon emissions are as low as 119 g/km and fuel consumption is only 4.5 liters on 100 km. The new motor management which was developed from scratch by Opel engineers delivers the highest level of efficiency and power in both engine models.

Reduced compression and operating pressures of 1,800 bar ensure that the new injection system can deliver up to five injections per cycle. As well as it is the case for the 2.0 CDTI, a new turbo charger with variable blade geometry helps to maintain a low fuel consumption. The turbo charger has a very precise boost control thanks to an additional actuator censor.

1.4 liter turbo gasoline engine: small displacement, lots of power

Both 1.4 liter turbo engines are available as 88kW/120 hp and as 103 kW/140 hp versions. The engines reach their maximum torque at between 1.850 and 4.200-1 (88 kW) or 4.900-1 (103 kW) respectively. At this level of torque they deliver great reserves of power and only consume 5.9 liters of fuel on 100 kilometers, with an output of 139 g/km in CO2 emissions. The turbo charged, four-cylinder engine has been fitted with Start/Stop technology as a basic feature. It also possesses a new engine control system to deliver even more precise combustion. There are two upper variable camshafts facing the in - and outlet side which control the four valves per cylinder. The variable opening and closing timings which are load dependent ensure that the torque is full bodied even at lower to medium revolutions. This means that the delivery of power is improved, while helping to save on fuel. The map controlled thermostat that improves the temperature management of the engine also helps to lower fuel consumption. The same can be said of the wider gear ratio with bigger spacing. A six-gear automatic will be available for the 140 hp variant starting in January 2012. The 74 kW/100 hp entry level gasoline unit is a 1.4 liter suction engine with a manual five-gear transmission. It only consumes 5.9 liters on 100 kilometers, equivalent to 139 g/km in CO2.

Assistance systems for a safe and comfortable driving experience

The compact and sporty Opel Astra GTC is not only impressive because of its dynamic and striking looks: it has been designed to enable sporty driving and has been equipped with a string of innovative premium technologies to assist the driver. The assistance systems ensure that there is a sense of fun in the Astra GTC, while at the same time delivering a high degree of safety and comfort, if the driver has lapses of concentration or is loses focus.

The basis for the driver assistance systems in the Opel Astra GTC is the more powerful, second generation of the "Opel Eye" front camera system. After two years of further development, it now has improved image processing thanks to its widened lens view and a more powerful multitasking high-performance computer. The camera case which sits at the base of the rear view mirror has been reduced by 35 per cent in size so that the driver visibility is increased.

The engineers improved the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) that warns the driver both acoustically and visually by detecting lane markings and also optimized the Traffic Sign Assistant (TSA Gen II) which can identify even more road signs than the previous generation, including rectangular signs and dynamic signs such as LED light signals.

In addition, the new "Opel Eye" front camera system enhances the Adaptive Light System (AFL+) by incorporating the Intelligent Light Ranging capability. It automatically adapts the range of the low beam headlights in order to provide the optimum lighting of the road at all times without dazzling other road users. The Following Distance Indication based on the front camera system helps the driver avoid collisions and fines for not maintaining the correct safety distance to the vehicle in front.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

In the event of unintended lane departures, the Lane Departure Warning warns the driver both acoustically and visually by detecting lane markings. Opel engineers have further refined the system to minimize customer annoyance caused by false warnings. Based on the input from steering wheel movements, brake and acceleration motions, the system automatically recognizes a direct driver command. No warnings are provided when the indicator signal is used or at vehicle speeds below 55 km/h, in other words in typical city traffic where drivers often touch or cross lane markings.

Traffic Sign Assistant (TSA Gen II)

The new generation "Opel Eye" front camera with the enhanced second generation Traffic Sign Assistant can identify even more road signs than the previous generation. In addition to typical European round signs for speed limits, the new front camera now also recognizes rectangular signs such as Autobahn, traffic-restricted zones and speed limit-related add-on signs with graphic symbols from a distance of up to 60 meters. Due to multiple exposure technology, the new "Opel Eye" increases its image processing power and can now also detect dynamic signs - for instance LED light signals located on bridges or at accident danger spots - which are often challenging for even human eyes to see.

Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+)

The Advanced Forward Lighting system AFL+ now also combines with the new generation of the Opel Eye front camera to offer an Intelligent Light Ranging (ILR) function which is automatically activated at speeds from 50 km/h. The front camera measures the distance to the vehicle ahead or to oncoming traffic and adapts the range of the low beam headlights in order to provide the optimum lighting of the road at all times without dazzling the other road users.

Following Distance Indication (FDI)

The Following Distance Indication which is activated automatically at speeds from 40 km/h helps to prevent collisions and avoids possible fines for not maintaining the correct safety distance to the vehicle in front. The front camera system directly measures the distance to the vehicle ahead up to a distance of 90 meters. The central driver display shows the corresponding distance value in seconds: This is in line with the regulations in most European countries, which define the safety distance in terms of time, not meters. In Germany, for instance, the minimum distance is 1.8 seconds - equivalent to half the distance of the current speedometer reading in meters, e.g. 50 m when driving with a speed of 100 km/h.

Dynamic and fun driving experience

There are two different configurations available in the new Astra GTC with the two variants, Enjoy and Sport. All the typical elements that ensure dynamic vehicle handling are standard across all the models. They include the 15 millimeter lower sports chassis, the exclusive HiPerStrut front suspension and the rear axle system including the Watt's link.

The basic safety package includes the electronic stability program ESPPlus , the traction control TCPlus linked to the engine and brakes and the anti-lock braking system complete with bend brake controls and braking assistant. Further features include a comprehensive air bag system, active head rests for the front seats, the adaptive brake light and the Pedal Release System (PRS).

The air conditioning system includes a particle filter and an activated carbon filter. The radio CD 300 comes as a standard feature as does the height and length adjustable steering column and the equally adjustable front seats, complete with easy-entry access and memory function. The rear seat back rests can be folded down forwards in a ratio of 60:40.

The compact coupé is top of the class when it comes to environmental friendliness. The two-liter diesel engine has a particle filter that does not require maintenance. The gear shift recommendation reminding the driver to change up is a standard part of the dashboard in the variants with manual transmission.

Well-equipped Sport edition

The Sport configuration comes complete with an attractive set of 18-inch aluminum wheels. Other features include a hill drive assistant as well as an on-board computer and speed control. The center armrest which is adjustable by sliding and front door ambient lights are practical and create a comfortable atmosphere. The steering wheel appears both high quality and sporty thanks to its partly perforated leather coating and chrome bracket. Also on board is the two-zone climate control system by which the driver and the co-pilot can each adjust the temperature to their own liking.

Extras mean even more individuality

Customers can follow their individual tastes and desires by accessing a broad spectrum of optional extras for the Opel Astra GTC. Configurations have been turned into clear and sensible packages in order to aid the customer and make the choice more affordable. For example, the design package comprises light metal wheels, a fog light and the other conventional lighting fixtures. The OPC Line package comprises a bumper with a spoiler lip, a rear skirting lip and a side skirt. The OPC Line package Interior comes complete with a sports steering wheel, a leather gear stick, stainless steel pedals and a black headliner.

The FlexRide chassis system has been tailored to the new Opel compact coupé. It includes the adaptive Drive Mode Control and three optional drive modes which are Standard, Sport (individually adjustable) and Tour. The front seats have the highest degree of flexibility in the segment in order to fit every style of driver. Maximum comfort and lateral support are guaranteed with the help of an ergonomic sports seat that can be adjusted in eight different positions. The seat which is available for the driver and co-pilot carries the quality seal from the German healthy back association "Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V."

One of the big innovative extras of the new Opel Astra GTC is the second-generation Opel Eye front camera with expanded functionality. The improved Lane Departure Warning is added to the enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition which can now identify even more of the traffic signs used in the EU and recognize rectangular signs. In addition, the latest version of the Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL) can be boosted with the Intelligent Light Ranging system (ILR) that uses the front camera from the Opel Eye to measure the distance from the vehicle ahead and adjust the headlamp low beam pattern. This helps the driver prevent collisions and fines if he fails to maintain the compulsory safety distance to the vehicles ahead.

The infotainment offer includes the new "Navi 900 Europe" navigation system with SC card- based memory technology, including navigation and POI (point of interest) data for more than 30 European countries. It enables high-speed access and allows universal networking with mobile devices and digital media. Additional features include a log book function for each trip with USB download, automatic POI announcements and voice recognition for navigation, phone, radio and CD/USB controls. To deliver an absolutely premium sound, the new Opel Astra GTC offers the option of a special Infinity Sound System with seven premium loudspeakers and a subwoofer.

New angles with panoramic windscreen

Customers who opt for the panoramic wind screen will treat their passengers to cinematic vistas. The large front windscreen stretches all the way to the middle of the car roof and gives the driver and the passengers an extraordinary visual, space and driving experience. In contrast to other glass roof solutions, in this case there is no transverse spar that reduces visibility. On the contrary, the roof boosts the roominess of the interior, thus improving the driving experience. The wind screen allows those on the inside not just to enjoy rays of sun but also dramatic cloud patterns or street illuminations at night. In contrast to other common glass roof solutions, in the Opel Astra GTC the driver, his co-pilot and the passengers in the rear are able to enjoy a vista, similar to what pilots experience under the light plane canopies. Opel was the first car maker in the world to offer this innovative glass technology in a production vehicle. In the 2006 Astra GTC predecessor this feature had its world debut.

New Opel Astra GTC expected to inject even more passion and dynamism into brand

The Opel Astra is the bestseller of the Opel product family. The tenth millionth Astra rolled off the assembly line in Bochum back in 2008. Since the launch of the latest Astra 5-door at the end of 2009, this model accounts for around a third of all Opel/Vauxhall sales. The compact station wagon, the Astra Sports Tourer, is the leader of its segment in Europe based on data from the first eight months of 2011. In several countries including Germany, the UK and Italy, it is the number one compact wagon (Jan-Sep 2011). The new Astra GTC is the ultimate Astra in terms of driving dynamics and the most dynamic expression of Opel's new design language. It is expected to inject even more passion into the brand and to make the Astra lineup even more desirable. Starting in November 2011, the new sporty compact coupé will be available at car dealers. Already more than 15,000 orders have been received since June 2011.

Standalone member of Opel product family

The success story of the Opel Astra GTC began as the design study GTC Genève, which was presented at the 2003 Geneva motor show. Even at its design stage it was remarkably similar to the later production vehicle which was unveiled to the public in Paris a year later. It had its market debut in spring 2005.

Even at its experimental stage, the vehicle was equipped with a panoramic windscreen. In 2006, Opel became the first car maker in the world to offer this as a basic feature in a production vehicle. In contrast to many other coupés which are merely a 3-door variant of their 5-door hatchback counterparts, the first generation Astra GTC was already a standalone model in its own right within the Opel product spectrum. The most striking design features include its sporty proportions and its flat, elongated silhouette as well as its curved roof outline that is full of verve. The arrow-like sweep of the front and rear are equally striking.

Many coupé fans could not resist the charms of the racy 3-door car. So Opel was able to sell more than 400.000 Astra GTCs across Europe. The biggest portion went to the United Kingdom. At least 106.000 right-hand-drive compact coupés have been sold there as vehicles from the Vauxhall sister brand. Germany represents the second biggest market for the Opel Astra GTC (70.500 sales), followed by Spain, Russia, Italy and France. The year 2006 has been the most successful year for the GTC to date with more than 90.000 sales across Europe. These results underscore the reputation of the Astra GTC as "an affordable dream car" and help position Opel as the German car brand with the biggest emotional impact.

Exclusive: Patented panoramic windscreen

In 2006, the production of the Opel Astra GTC complete with panoramic windscreen began, making it a first for the industry. Until today, it is the only 3-door coupé with this exclusive configuration. Eighteen-thousand European Astra GTC customers have opted for this extraordinary system which is exclusive to the Astra GTC within the Astra family. The windscreen gives the compact coupé a dynamic and racy edge. The large screen at the front that stretches all the way to the halfway point of the roof creates a special visual sensation and a sense of space, in addition to an extraordinary driving experience. In contrast to other glass roof solutions, in this case there is no transverse spar that reduces visibility. This means that the driver, the co-pilot and the passengers in the rear are able to enjoy a vista, similar to what pilots experience under the light plane canopies. So overall, the new Opel Astra GTC combines the very best of Opel design with dynamic handling and exclusive features such as the panoramic windscreen.

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