Tuesday, 7 June 2011 4:06 PM
As promised Vauxhall today released the hotly anticipated hot hatch specs for the Astra GTC, an appealingly pugilistic competitior to the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupe. The British public - and indeed the world - will be able to get its first look at the production GTC at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 1-3 where it will make its global debut.
The base price is a pretty keen £18,495, nearly £1,100 cheaper than the entry-level Volkswagen Scirocco. The top-of-the-line model will set you back £22,430. Expect to see them in UK showrooms towards the end of this year.
Under the skin is a chassis derived from the Insignia VXR which has been fine-tuned in the UK. There will be a choice of four engines - one diesel and three petrol. The diesel engine, the 162bhp 2.0-litre CDTi, is an upgrade of a diesel already used on some Insignia and Astra models. It is mated to a six-speed transmission and a start-stop function is standard. This one will do the 0-62mph sprint in 8.9 seconds, a top speed of 130mph and 380Nm of torque. Keeping it clean and affordable, a tank of petrol has the potential to do more than 700 miles with a combined fuel consumption of 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 129g/km.
The most powerful engine is the 1.6-litre turbo, pumping out 177bhp and a top speed of 132mph.
Both versions of the 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine will come with a six-speed gearbox and the start-stop function. There is a choice of 118bhp and 138hp and both engines achieve a combined fuel economy of 47.8mpg and emissions of 139g/km. Max torque of 200Nm is achieved between 1,850-4,200rpm.
Compared to the standard Astra hatch, the GTC will have a lower ride height by 15mm, the wheelbase is 10mm longer and the wider tracks will allow for rims up to 20 inches in size. Vauxhall's FlexRide adaptive damping automatically adapts to road conditions and with the flick of a switch, there are three settings - Standard, Tour or Sport - to change the car's personality.
The design has stayed pretty true to the concept and as a result, this distinctive-looking hatch only shares the door handles and aerial with other siblings in the Astra range.
With enough room for four adults and practical cargo space, Vauxhall has big ambitions for the GTC and hope that because of its belnd of performance and practicality, it will account for around 20% of UK Astra sales.
Next year, a high output VXR model will be released and as soon as we have details, we'll let you know all about it.
By Georgia Lewis
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