Opel has released more details of its upcoming Astra GTC hot hatch.
This performance version of the Astra has been developed by Opel’s British affiliate, Vauxhall’s Engineering Centre in Millbrook and Opel in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Apart from restrained exterior changes, some key components have been taken from Opel’s more powerful models and implemented on the suspension of the GTC. According to Opel the HiPerStruts (High Performance Struts) used on the front axle of the 240 kW Opel Insignia VXR (a model South Africans unfortuntely can’t buy) is fitted to the GTC. One of the reasons this system is used is to minimise the negative effect of torque steer, a trait of many powerful front-wheel drive cars.
This sytem also helps to reduce the amount of camber change on the car’s front wheels during cornering while steering feel is also claimed to be improved. Because of the geometry changes, wheels of up to 20-inches in diameter can be fitted to this hatch. At the rear important changes have been made to the Watt’s link/compound crank rear end, also with better performance in mind.
Compared to the standard hatch, the GTC sits 15 mm lower to the ground while the wheelbase has grown by 10 mm. To give the car a further increase in its footprint the front track is 40 mm wider while the rear track has increased by 30 mm. Other performance modifications include roll-stiffness and better wheel camber stiffness.
Opel will also be offering what it calls the Flexride system. Similar to systems we got used to in other cars, this system will allow the driver to set the dampers for a softer or a more firmer ride. The driver will also be able to feel a change in the throttle response and steering effort.
Opel is planning to go head-to-head with Renault's Mégane and Volkswagen’s Scirocco. Expect to see the GTC in South Africa early next year.