Monday, June 6, 2011

New Car: 2012 Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC

THE fight for three-door ‘coupé’ honours just got even fiercer. Vauxhall’s striking new Astra 
GTC is here – and the sporty 
hatch sits between two of 
its biggest rivals on price.

The range starts at £18,495 for the 118bhp 1.4-litre Sport Turbo – that’s £265 more than a 128bhp 1.4-litre TCE Renault Mégane coupé, but £1,080 cheaper than the 120bhp VW Scirocco 1.4-litre TSI. And the Astra will be good looking, too. It’s near identical to the GTC concept car, revealed at last year’s Paris Motor Show, and doesn’t share any body panels with the regular five-door.

The combination of dramatic C-pillars, muscular rear arches and a rear diffuser has resulted 
in a sporty shape. A choice of two trim options will be offered – Sport and SRi – with a top-of-the-
range VXR version due to arrive 
in showrooms later this year.

Sport models feature 18-inch alloys and a DAB digital radio, while the SRi adds an on-board computer, plus a leather steering wheel and tinted glass. Bi-xenon headlights will be an option. 
Under the skin, the GTC gets the clever HiPerStrut system from the 321bhp Insignia VXR, to improve traction and steering precision.

In addition, the ride height is 15mm lower than the five-door Astra’s, while the tracks are wider and the wheelbase longer. As a result, it should be more stable and have more grip. Adaptive FlexRide dampers, with Standard, Tour and Sport modes, are also available. Engines include the 1.4-litre turbo petrol, in 118bhp and 138bhp guise, and a 163bhp 2.0-litre CDTi turbodiesel. The 
hottest version for now will be 
a 178bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol.

The VXR is expected to boast 
a 300bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit. It will also feature 20-inch alloys, stiffened and lowered 
suspension and bigger brakes.

Order books for the Astra GTC are open now, and it will make 
its public debut at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, before starring at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

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