Astra GTC loaded with kit

Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:57 AM

Vauxhall Astra GTC

The Vauxhall Astra GTC isn't just an Astra chassis with a curvier body. There's driver-focused tech under there...

The Astra GTC has been on sale in the UK since June and it is proving to be an able competitor against the likes of the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupe.

Vauxhall is keen to point out that as well as the keen pricetag, the engineers have been very busy making sure it is technically awesome and thus great value for money. Instead of just using an existing Vauxhall/Opel platform the GTC has a bespoke base using the best of the company’s technology. Compared to the standard Astra hatch, the GTC’s ride height has been lowered by 15mm. The wheelbase has grown by 10mm and both tracks are wider too - 1584mm (+40mm) at the front and 1585mm (+30mm) at the rear.

The HiPerStruts on the front axle are derived from the Insignia VXR with the unique Watt’s link/compound crank rear end adding extra fun and great handling to the back. This revised rear suspension has bespoke roll-stiffness and roll-centre height settings. This has benefits over the usual multi-link design such as better packaging, greater wheel camber stiffness, reduced suspension friction and maintaining lateral stability at all times.

Rack and pinion steering is nothing new but the GTC’s has speed sensitive assistance and helps the driver out with more steering feedback thanks to the system’s electric motor being mounted directly on the steering rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column.

Because car companies love a groovy name - and because Vauxhall figured the GTC deserved an upgraded suspension too, no doubt - we have FlexRide on the GTC. FlexRide’s Driving Mode Control oversees the systems allowing the car to react to emergency situations. In Tour mode, if the driver needs to avoid an obstacle, the chassis sensors convey this to the DMC system and the dampers are adjusted.

The Astra GTC has a starting price of £18,495.

By Georgia Lewis

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