Three-door Astra steals show

8 Sep, 2010 (All day) Paul Bond

Vauxhall reveals GTC in Paris, previews sizzling flagship VXR three-door

The Astra is sporting a new look! This is the GTC Paris, and it gives us our first look at how the rakish new three-door Vauxhall will shape up.

 

It’s been styled to preview the high-octane VXR version – but strip away the twin tailpipes and the enormous 21-inch forged wheels, and you’re looking at the production-spec Astra three-door. All that’s missing is a tax disc and number plate!

The flowing shape takes its lead from the elegant five-door Astra and handsome Insignia, and aims to put the much more conservative VW Golf and Ford Focus in the shade. Slim, eagle-eye headlights are topped off by LED ‘eyebrows’ which dominate the front end. A sharp centre line runs the length of the bonnet, leading to a low grille.

Curving ‘blades’ in the door panels create a dynamic profile, as do the sharp creases running from the door handles to the tail-light clusters. These features work together to give the GTC a honed, narrow look at the front and a purposeful, broad-shouldered stance at the rear. At 4.46 metres long, the stylish concept offers space for five people, yet still maintains compact and sporty proportions.

Under the skin, the GTC Paris features a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, with direct injection. This is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, and incorporates stop/start.

The layout is a hint to the powertrain of the next Astra VXR – the unit is likely to deliver in excess of 300bhp as Vauxhall chases arch-rival Ford’s Focus RS.

Lesser variants will get the same range of engines as the five-door – that means 1.4-litre turbo and naturally aspirated 1.6 petrols will be joined by a 2.0-litre diesel, as well as a super-efficient 1.7-litre ecoFLEX oil-burner.

The firebreathing VXR won’t be the only performance version to be offered, though. A 210bhp 1.6-litre turbo SRi is designed to take on the VW Golf GTI.

Under the skin, the GTC has a revised chassis and widened track, which provide more clues to the VXR’s spec. An electronic limited-slip differential features, as does Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive damping system. The latter alters the throttle, steering and suspension responses to suit drivers’ tastes.

To cope with the huge power output, and prevent torque steer, the flagship is expected to use the HyPerStrut front suspension layout from the Insignia VXR.

The interior will remain secret until the wraps come off the GTC at Paris, but through the windows of the car in these pictures, you can see the wing-backed bucket seats that will grace the VXR. The rest of the design will be similar to the five-door’s, with a high-quality finish, plus special branding.

The Astra VXR arrives in the UK late next year, at the same time as the three-door. We’ll have more details ahead of the GTC’s debut.

 

Disqus - noscript

And I thought the last astra 3 door looked good. This is probably the best looking car in this segment (in my opinion), or am I forgetting one?

koupekid, yeah your forgetting one, the Alfa Giulietta, by far the best looking car in this class. By a big big margin too.

"conservative golf" conservative? More like dam right boring! Time VW killed it off now and made the scirocco the standard 3 door golf. It still wouldn't be as good looking as the Alfa or this Astra but it would be a step in the right direction.

AndyG, in the rear and profile the alfa looks great, but I think the 8c face doesn't realy work on the Guilietta or the Mito. Another good looking car in the segment, the new renault megane coupe?

i dont know i would rate it a 5-6 the style is boring used so many times before but i hope it brings somthing new to the playing field

without that slight indent on the front bumper into the headlight, it looks very mazda 2 and Lexus IS, whilst the back reminds me of a mazda 2

Oh dear, yet another manufacturer triee to look space age and fails...I wish they'd make good looking cars again that stood out.
as pointed out, this looks like some hideous cross between a Mazda 2 and a Honda Civic.
Why can't the motor industry start making good looking coupes again. God knows we're due a few.

If MG has to make something with any chance of success in the UK and in the EU it must look startling and impressive. Not the old things we have been served up in previews to date!

A new MG has to look better than this OPEL and with a better finish! Longbridge please note!

At last!
A sporty looking Vauxhall that doesn't look as though they have been into Halfords and spent Fifty quid on body parts.

Look at the "Astra caught undisguised' picture. That coupe looks soft-edged and lacks the sharpness of these drawings. Beware, it could be a blancmange coupe after all lacking the critical lines defined in these sketches..

will the Astra look like this when its manufactured as the above are only drawings.The previous Astra 3dr looked amazing in the pic's then when it was launched it was totally dull and nothing like the drawings

Don't all these new hatches look like variations on a theme? Not that it isn't a good-looking car, but hide the badge, grille and rear bumper line and you could tell me it was a Toyota, Mazda, Renault, Peugeot, Opel or Kia and I would be hard-pressed to contradict. Even rear light units have become the same old blobs. I suppose this is a consequence of hitting the optimum shape-for-volume configuration. Or maybe the designers are all watching one another too carefully. Our roads are becoming homogenized.
With that high shoulder line, I wouldn't want to be a rear seat passenger though. Very claustrophobic.

"The previous Astra 3dr looked amazing in the pic's then when it was launched it was totally dull and nothing like the drawings"

It looked pretty much EXACTLY like the drawings and GTC concept - didn't you see Jeremy Clarkson having to eat his own hair?

As with all these things, I'll reserve judgement until I see the show pictures of the ACTUAL car....

"The previous Astra 3dr looked amazing in the pic's then when it was launched it was totally dull and nothing like the drawings"

It looked pretty much EXACTLY like the drawings and GTC concept - didn't you see Jeremy Clarkson having to eat his own hair?

As with all these things, I'll reserve judgement until I see the show pictures of the ACTUAL car....

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Regardless of what some may say, Vauxhall, have once again excelled. The truth however is you can not please everyone, and to be fair Vauxhall has in the past had a bad name for design. I am so glad that they are now compeating against the best and in many cases leading. (But thats just my opinion.) The important thing I feel is to copeat on price as well as product. I they have done that then, they are on to a real WINNER!!!

Vauxhall design??? Don't be naive. All what Vauxhall design is new griffin logo for OPEL designed cars.
This is really funny. Opel sell right hand drive cars in Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. Vauxhall is pure marketing. People in UK buy German designed (and mostly manufactured cars) with Vauxhall bagde and think they buy British :)

Steals Show! Who made that one up? Someone at AutoExpress! This is just another Average Vauxhall for Common people.

While its true that most Vauxhall/Opel cars are indeed designed at GM Europe's Rüsselsheim design facility, its not always the case miki123! The new Astra sport tourer is a perfect case in point, it has been designed, engineered and is being built in the UK... I thank you!

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