The new Astra GTC is very much inspired by the Opel GTC Paris Concept revealed last fall at the Mondial de l’Automobile in . A compact, sporty five-seater with coupé appeal and dramatic proportions, the Astra GTC has a unique design: it does not share any exterior element with other members of the Astra family, except for the outside rear view mirror housing and the rod antenna. Six of the seven 17- to 20-inch wheel designs on offer are also GTC-only features.
The Astra GTC mechatronic chassis features an exclusive, high-tech front suspension architecture, similar to the one of the Insignia OPC, that improves handling performance and provides the sharper steering demanding drivers expect in a sporty-looking car. Compared to the five-door Astra, the ride height of the GTC is lowered by 15 mm while the basic dimensions of the chassis slightly increase. Due to extended control arms in the rear, the wheelbase grows by 10 mm, from 2685 to 2695 mm. Both tracks are wider, at 1584 mm (+ 40 mm) in front and 1588 mm (+ 30 mm) in the rear. This allows for the accommodation of sporty wheels with enhanced tire diameter, which improve both stability, road stance and visual impact.
The major change, however, is not visible to the naked eye. All Astra GTC versions, regardless of the powertrain and trim level, are fitted with an extra feature, normally only available in high-end sports cars: front suspension with High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut). Compared to the standard McPherson suspension from the Astra, HiPerStrut has reduced kingpin inclination and offset and a shorter spindle length. This improves wheel guidance and grip, reduces torque steering reactions and increases cornering power, offering Astra GTC drivers the sporty, crisp feel they expect, with enhanced precision and feedback. In addition, HiPerStut reduces tire flops, which allows the car to accommodate larger-diameter wheels. This up-level layout that glues the car to the road guarantees driving excitement to all GTC drivers even before the very sporty versions planned for the near future are available.
The Astra GTC chassis has been designed to perfectly integrate Opel’s intelligent, fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system. It enhances driving stability with better cornering behavior and steering response by automatically adapting to road conditions, cornering speed, vehicle movements and individual driving style. Better road holding and vehicle balance also enhance driving safety in emergency situations. In addition, FlexRide offers three different settings, enabling a change to the car’s character on demand by the push of a button: one can choose anytime between the balanced Standard mode, the comfort-oriented “Tour” mode or the more active “Sport” mode.
The Astra GTC can be ordered immediately with a choice of four powertrains – one diesel and three gasoline units. The upgraded 2.0 CDTI common-rail turbo diesel engine has a output of 165 hp. The fastest petrol engine is 1.6-litre turbo with 180 hp. It has a top speed of 220 km/h. More powertrains will be offered around the world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show The sportiest versions including the future high-performance OPC will follow in 2012.