Opel Ireland has released some exciting news with the arrival of their all-new Astra GTC. I travelled to Majorca last week to test drive the GTC on a mix of winding mountain roads and short motorways. Looks-wise Opel has succeeded in designing a beautiful, well-proportioned three-door hatchback.
One of the key changes to the GTC over its predecessor is the widening of the wheelbase, the front track is now 40mm wider, while the rear track has been extended by 30mm. The car’s styling has had a positive impact as a result of this, with larger rear wheel arches present which give the car a more masculine, sporty look. The handling has also been improved as the wider track increases the car’s footprint on the road, therefore providing a more stable drive. Opel has incorporated their intelligent HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) as used on their 325hp Insignia OPC. This will be standard across all models within the GTC range, and thanks to this, the GTC receives improved grip and minimal torque-steer.
I drove the 180hp 1.6l petrol variant and the 2.0l CDTI which delivers 165hp. Whilst the petrol may have an additional 15 horsepower, I found the diesel more pleasant to drive, thanks to the additional torque (380Nm) you don’t need to work the gears as frequent as in the petrol. The GTC is available across a choice of two grades, Sport and SRi, both offering a high standard of features. Just some of the standard equipment includes daytime running lights, 18” wheels and air conditioning. The quality of materials used in the GTC’s interior is excellent, and provides for a refined yet sporty driving experience.
Initially there’ll be three engine choices available to Irish motorists, two petrol’s and one diesel. Prices commence at €22,995 for the 120hp 1.4 Turbo and is available to order from December.[table “43” not found /]