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."