Vauxhall GTC aims to be best handling car in class

Vauxhall has revealed the first official pictures of its three-door Astra GTC coupe and named the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane as its immediate rivals.

The new car, which takes the role of the three-door hatch in the Astra range, was fine-tuned at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, reflecting the importance with which Vauxhall holds the UK market.
Vauxhall feels that the car's driving enjoyment will be its selling point, claiming it has "unmatched stability and handling precision".

This is due to the GTC adopting the front suspension of the larger Insignia VXR, including the HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) and the FlexRide system that allows drivers to chose between Standard, Tour or Sport settings.

The ride height has also been lowered by 15mm compared to the five-door Astra, while the tracks are wider both front and rear by 40mm and 30mm respectively. This means Vauxhall can pop on a set of 20-inch wheels should they be so desired.

There are plenty of other changes over the five-door model, with almost all the visual elements altered in some way – in fact Vauxhall claims only the door handles and the roof aerial are carried over from its siblings.

It will come with four engines from launch, a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel, a 178bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol in 118bhp and 138bhp outputs. Final performance figures are yet to be confirmed, but the 1.6-petrol is set to be the quickest until a VXR model arrives next year, with a top speed of 132mph. The diesel will make the 0-62mph run in 8.9 seconds while offering emissions of 129g/km.

The Astra GTC costs from £18,495 for the Sport model with the lower powered 1.4 petrol, while the range goes up to £22,430 for the 165PS SRi 2.0-litre diesel. Cars are ready for order now.
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