New Vauxhall Astra GTC
New Vauxhall Astra GTC

The new Vauxhall Astra GTC has as starting price of £18,495 and has its sights firmly set on class leaders such as the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupe.

Like the Vauxhall Astra Sports Hatch before it, the Astra GTC is a standalone model in Vauxhall's range, designed to appeal to customers who enjoy more enthusiastic driving, with strong handling and performance.

Engineers at Vauxhall Engineering Centre at Millbrook and Opel engineers in Russelheim have designed and produced a bespoke platform for the Vauxhall Astra GTC. The HiPerStruts used on the front axle are derived from the Vauxhall Insignia VXR.

Ride height for the Vauxhall Astra GTC is 15mm lower than the Astra Hatch, the wheelbase has grown by 100mm, from 2685mm to 2695mm. Front and rear tracks are also wider, the front are 40mm wider (1584mm) and the rear 30mm (1585mm).

Vauxhall FlexRide is available as an option across the Vauxhall Astra GTC. The system automatically adapts to changing road surfaces and driving styles. Three driving modes are available for the driver to select. Standard is the default mode and is similar to Tour. Sport mode results in stiffer dampers, sharper throttle response and the instrument panel backlighting changes from white to red. All three modes can be selected alongside Sport mode.

The Vauxhall Astra benefits from a development process which includes the use of British roads as part of the overall chassis development programmes.

"Our road system is like no other in Europe," said Gerry Baker. "We obviously test cars in many different countries, but the UK's severely undulating and heavily cambered roads often reveal handling traits that would otherwise be hidden on smoother surfaced and more predictable continental roads.

"It's not just the surfaces, either. Corners with changing radii are commonplace in the UK, as are blind apexes and crests, which mean that extra demands are put upon our cars and drivers. A good example is a driver who has to make a mid-corner adjustment on an unfamiliar road where the bend tightens unexpectedly and he throttles-off or brakes suddenly. The car needs to work with him, and respond intuitively to steering inputs, but it still needs to be rewarding to drive under normal conditions."

Published : 25/07/11 Author : Staff

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