TopGear.com26 April 2011

Vauxhall Astra GTC revealed

Wait! Come back! New three-door hatch paves way for 300bhp VXR version…

On a site where we’re today busy discussing the new Jag XF, the Ferrari 550 Maranello and the Koenigsegg Agera R, news about a new three-door hatch from Vauxhall has its work cut out to grab your attention.

But this Astra GTC, with the usual fettling from Vauxhall’s go-faster mechanics at VXR, will form the basis of a 300bhp hot hatch aimed squarely at the impressive Golf R and Audi’s pricey new RS3. And at a much keener price, although all that power will only be going to the front two wheels.

A limited slip diff is also on the cards to counter the problems with the last Astra VXR – namely, its tendency to get very left/right depending on the random movement of space debris.

It’s not miles off the GTC concept released at last year’s Paris show: slightly more sensible lights and interior, but it’s still a rather fetching-looking thing. Vauxhall claim it will happily seat five adults with the usual clambering.

The basic car will be unveiled in full on 7 June as the UK order books open, with what’s expected to be the diesel and petrol units from the existing five-door Astra. The VXR is likely to emerge early next year.

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