The Astra GTC is inspired by the Opel GTC Paris Concept that was unveiled last fall. The Astra GTC is unique in the fact that it doesn’t share any exterior elements with the other members of the Astra family, with the exception of the mirrors and antenna.
“We wanted the Astra GTC to be the ultimate expression of Opel’s design language ‘sculptural artistry meets German precision’ and to embody our passion for the automobile,” says Mark Adams, Vice President, Opel/Vauxhall Design. “However, we did not want emotion to overshadow functionality: the Astra GTC is a clever and affordable dream car.”
The Opel Astra GTC rides 15 mm lower than the five-door Astra. The wheelbase has increased by 10 mm due to extended control arms, and the front and rear tracks are wider. To make the Astra GTC a blast to drive, all versions of the Astra GTC are fitted with an extra feature, normally only available in high-end sports cars: front suspension with High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut). The standard Astra has a McPherson suspension, but the suspension on the Astra GTC has reduced kingpin inclination and offset and a shorter spindle length that reduces torque steering reactions and increases cornering power.
The Astra GTC will initially be available with the choice of four powertrains: one diesel and three gasoline powered units. The 2.0L diesel puts out 165-hp, while two versions of the 1.4L gasoline engine put out 120-hp and 140-hp. The 180-hp 1.6L turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual will be the top engine until the sportier variants are released. The high-performance OPC model will debut in 2012.
Why should you care if you are in the U.S.? Well the Opel Astra GTC is expected to come here as a Buick.