.Vauxhall will use this rakish Paris motor show concept to preview the new three-door Astra, due next year, and the high-performance VXR variant that will arrive at the same time.
Revealed this morning, the GTC Paris Concept is ostensibly a show car. But Vauxhall says the design “gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch’s successor”.
A VXR version is due to arrive at the same time as the bread-and-butter models. It’s likely to get a hefty increase in power over the outgoing car — perhaps to as much as 300bhp — and feature an electronic limited-slip differential, similar to the item already fitted to the GTC.
The VXR is likely to be the production model that uses most of the show car’s design flourishes. While the concept’s 21in wheels are likely to reduce in size for the hot three-door, its side window chrome embellishments and LED running lights may stay.
The concept has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with stop-start and a six-speed manual transmission. Its chassis set-up includes an updated version of Vauxhall’s Flexride adaptive damper system, and the same torsion beam rear suspension as the regular Astra.
Despite production-ready looks, the concept is appearing more than a year before the three-door Astra is due on sale in the UK late next year.
.Vauxhall releases more info and pictures of the GTC Paris concept including engine details.
Strip away the motor show glitz and you get a very good idea of what Vauxhall has in store for the next VXR. For a start, the firm has confirmed that the concept is powered by a 282bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. The unit features direct fuel injection and stop-start to improve fuel efficiency, and will be used in the next VXR hot hatch.
The engine is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox and drives the front wheels through a limited slip differential. To tame the immense power, the Astra will have a version of the HyPerStrut front suspension layout from the Insignia VXR and will feature the FlexRide adaptive damping system which alters the throttle, steering and suspension responses to suit drivers’ tastes.
<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dbg5s3yeo8g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>Renderings of the VXR version of the GTC were leaked earlier this year, and the standard car shares much of the visual impact of Vauxhall’s new “halo model”.
They include sharp creases that emerge from the door handles and run across three different panels to the edge of the tail-lights, and a particularly complex tailgate shape.
While the near-300bhp VXR version will be launched at the Geneva motor show next year, the standard GTC only has to wait until Frankfurt in September for its show debut.
.No body panels are carried over from the five-door and the styling remains faithful to last year’s well received GTC Paris concept designed by Opel/Vauxhall design chief Mark Adams. His aim was to “create a car that looks like it’s been plucked from the class above, with its low, wide stance and simple, yet rakish lines”.
The range of turbocharged engines includes a 1.4 petrol with either 118bhp or 138bhp, a 178bhp 1.6 petrol and a 2.0 diesel with 163bhp. Final performance figures have yet to be confirmed, but the 1.6 petrol will hit 132mph.
Standard kit on entry-level Sport models includes 18-inch alloys, a DAB stereo and an electronic parking brake. Top-spec SRI models get tinted glass, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and foglamps. Bi-xenon lights are optional across the range.
Prices start at £18,495 for the 118bhp 1.4 Sport, rising to £22,930 for the diesel SRI. The Scirocco range starts at £19,575 for the 1.4 TSI; Mégane coupé prices start at £18,230 for the 1.4 TCe.
Not bad.2012 Opel Astra OPC: The hottest Astra ever
By Tim Beissmann | November 7th, 2011
The all-new 2012 Opel Astra OPC coupe will be the fastest and most powerful production Astra in history when it goes on sale in Europe around the middle of next year.
Powered by a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine, the 2012 Astra OPC will produce 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
Those figures position the Astra OPC well ahead of the Renault Megane R.S. 250 (184kW/340Nm) and the Volkswagen Golf R (188kW/330Nm) and about on par with the Mazda3 MPS (190kW/380Nm), but still some way short of the Ford Focus RS (224kW/440Nm).
Opel says the 2012 Astra OPC can reach a top speed of 250km/h, making it quicker than any car in the model’s 20-year history. The OPC’s 0-100km/h acceleration time is still a secret.
Developed and refined around Nurburgring Nordschleife alongside the world’s future sports cars, the Opel Astra OPC incorporates HiPerStrut front suspension and a fully adaptive FlexRide chassis control system. The system includes ‘Sport’ and ‘OPC’ buttons that allow the driver to sharpen the characteristics of the shock absorbers, steering and accelerator pedal responsiveness.
The new Opel Astra OPC also benefits from a limited slip differential, leading to improved stability, handling and more grip through high-speed corners. The high performance brake package has been developed by Brembo.
The Astra OPC gets a more muscular body with specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear spoiler and dual exhausts. The interior scores sports seats, a flat-bottomed OPC steering wheel and unique instruments.
Prices and full specifications of the 2012 Opel Astra OPC will be revealed closer to its European launch next year.
Opel arrives in Australia in the second half of next year, with the first vehicles expected to hit showrooms either late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2012. The initial range will include the Corsa three- and five-door hatchbacks, the Astra five-door hatch and Sports Tourer wagon, and the Insignia four-door sedan and Sports Tourer wagon.
Opel Australia managing director Bill Mott confirmed earlier this year that Opel’s high-performance OPC models were being considered for our market, potentially for the next phase of the Opel rollout, which is expected sometime in 2013.