Vauxhall GTC concept hints at new Astra 3-door and VXR

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This Astra GTC concept 'gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch's successor,' says Vauxhall, and we can take that to mean that it's very close indeed to the real thing.

Expect the new car, which does not go on sale until late next year, to be called GTC, too. Word is that the potent VXR version, which may come with as much as 300bhp, will debut at the same time as the rest of the GTC range.

The concept rides on a wider track than the standard car, hinting at the upgraded VXR chassis to come, says Vauxhall, and it's fitted with an electronic limited slip differential and a modified version of the company's FlexRide suspension system.

As with the current model, Vauxhall's designers aimed to create a coupe silhouette for this three-door hatch while retaining a decent amount of space for rear seat passengers.

Surprisingly, the GTC is four cm longer than the five door Astra, although the short rear overhang hides this. Key sculptural features of the car include an arching roofline, a pronounced rear shoulder line and the so-called blade crease in the lower body side previously seen on the Insignia.

The concept has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder with stop-start and a six-speed gearbox – the production GTC will likely feature a version of this engine as well as less powerful units, including diesels.