GM’s European subsidiary is confident about its new Astra GTC with Vauxhall going as far as to claim that it will “lay down the gauntlet to VW’s Scirocco and Renault’s Megane Coupe with a heady mix of dynamic excellence, dramatic design features and competitive pricing".
The production version of last year’s Paris Motor Show concept GTC sports a far more athletic appearance than the rest of the Astra range thanks to the uniquely designed body that includes a more rakish roofline. According to Opel, the only elements the GTC shares with its five-door and estate siblings are the door handles and roof aerial as even the wheelbase and tracks are different.
Compared to the five-door Astra, the ride height of the GTC is lowered by 15 mm while the wheelbase grows by 10 mm, from 2,685 to 2,695 mm and both tracks are wider, at 1,584 mm (+ 40 mm) in front and 1,588 mm (+ 30 mm) in the rear.
Opel and its sister brand Vauxhall say the Astra GTC is a more driver’s car than the five-door model as the company’s engineers having made several changes to the chassis including the adoption of the HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) setup used on the 325HP Insignia OPC / VXR instead of the standard McPherson suspension.
At the rear, the GTC continues to use a Watt’s link axle, while as an option, Opel offers the fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system with a choice of three settings - Standard, Tour or Sport.
Moving on to the available lineup at launch, the Astra GTC can be ordered now with a choice of four engines. However, Opel said more powertrains will be offered around its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show adding that the sportiest versions including the future high-performance OPC model will follow in 2012.
For now, diesel options are limited to a 2.0-liter CDTI common-rail turbo unit delivering 165HP and 380 Nm of torque in overboost function. It is fitted with a diesel particulate filter and a six-speed manual transmission, plus a new Start/Stop system. With this engine, the GTC can reach 100 km/h (62mph) in 8.9 seconds en route to a top speed of 210 km/h (131 mph), while returning a combined fuel consumption of 4.9 lt/ 100 km (48 mpg US or 57.7 mpg UK) with corresponding CO2 emissions of 129 g/km.
The most powerful engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline unit with 180-horses linked to a six-speed manual gearbox offering the GTC a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph). A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine available with 120HP and 140HP completes the petrol lineup.
In Britain, buyers can place their order now for the Astra GTC with prices ranging from £18,495 for the 120HP Sport 1.4 Turbo to £22,430 for the 165PS SRi 2.0 CDTi. For more details on UK pricing, check out the list below.