This is the new Vauxhall Astra GTC, unveiled on the Internet ahead of its official, real-people public debut at next month's Goodwood Festival of Speed. And it wants scalps.
Vauxhall has called out the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupe as the GTC's sparring partners, and promises some rather fiery undercrackers hiding behind that concept-like bodyshell.
The GTC sits on the ‘Delta' platform - like the Astra hatch and estate - and gets the front suspension from the Insignia VXR including the ‘HiPerStrut' (high performance strut), rather like the RevoKnuckle on Ford's Focus RS. It is said to reduce torque steer and improve grip, which means it is hungry for power. Very hungry.
The rear gets the Watt's link setup - used to good effect in the hatch, as we found out here - and overall the GTC is 15mm lower, 10mm longer, 40mm wider up front and 30mm wider at the back than the hatch. If you are unafraid of ‘kerbs', Vauxhall says this wider track allows the fitment of 20in wheels.
There will be a choice of four engines to choose from: two 1.4-litre petrol engines producing 117bhp and 137bhp, a 2.0-litre diesel with 160bhp and 280lb ft of torque (returning 57.6mpg and a potential repping range of 700 miles), and the current range-topping 1.6-litre turbo. This produces 175bhp and a claimed top speed of 132mph.
And in 2012, Vauxhall will unveil the VXR version of the GTC, set to ‘wow' hot-hatch enthusiasts. Hopefully not ‘wow look, I'm going into a tree'. More on that to follow...
Vauxhall assures us four adults can comfortably sit inside the GTC, while luggage space stands at between 370 and 1,235 litres, which is considerably more than the Vee-Dub (312 and 1,006) and Megane (344 and 991). Them's a lot of biscuits.
Prices start at £18,495 for the 1.4-litre Sport, and £22,430 for the 2.0-litre diesel SRI. Let your feelings be known, Internet. And remember he who comments first need not advertise that fact...