30 October 2010

Vauxhall Astra GTC concept revealed

Next Astra Sport Hatch – sorry, ‘GTC Concept’ – unveiled for Paris. Contains next-gen VXR oily bits too…

You're looking at the next generation Vauxhall Astra VXR, sort of.

This is the GTC Concept; a concept, chirrups Vauxhall, that "gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch's successor".

See more pics of the Vauxhall Astra GTC Concept

This bold, made-for-Paris concept car showcases the lines next year's three-door Astra will take, and it looks mostly rakish.

Vaux's designers have apparently ‘maximised tension' in the GTC by minimising the lines, making it appear the body has been ‘pressed' onto the wheels.

But it's what lies underneath that svelte and marginally derivative exterior which we feel ‘maximises tension': an electronic limited slip diff.

This is good news indeed. The last VXR - while a seriously cool car - unfortunately had a tendency to get very left/right depending on the random movement of space debris. Fitting a limited slip diff is a ruddy good way of curing that - witness the 300 horses Ford has (barely) managed to tame in the Focus RS.

Vaux has omitted any power details, but the show car gets a direct injection 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit mated to a six-speed box, along with adaptive dampers and stop/start technology.

The concept will be fully unveiled at this month's Paris motor show.

Whaddya' reckon? Don't forget, the new Astra is a fine hatch, and with the right chassis tweaks and power, could be an absolute corker as a VXR...

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