• New diesel engine joins the range
  • ecoFLEX model confirmed for 2012

With first cars ready to hit UK showrooms at the end of November, the new Astra GTC is already gathering momentum in the compact coupe class, substantially undercutting the entry level price of the VW Scirocco, as well as bringing new and unique technologies to the sector.

Astra GTC

Coinciding with the GTC’s official word debut at

Frankfurt Motor Show

(though it has already made a guest appearance at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed), Vauxhall has announced that it will introduce a second diesel engine into the range to join the existing 2.0 CDTi (160PS).

The 1.7 CDTi model will be the GTC’s lowest C02-emitting unit, achieving a combined figure of just 119g/km. It will be available with two power outputs – 110PS and 130PS – with the more powerful of the two achieving a top speed of 122mph and 0-60mph in 10.0 seconds.

But GTC emissions are set to drop still further next year with the introduction of the GTC ecoFLEX. Again, the model will be available with either 110PS or 130PS outputs, but thanks to ecoFLEX technology, will achieve 109g/km in either guise.

The new 1.7 CDTi will be available from the start of 2012, with the ecoFLEX versions following later in the year.

Closely based on last year’s stunning GTC Paris concept, the production Astra GTC enters the UK market – the biggest in Europe for this model – priced from just £18,495, nearly £1,100 less than the basic VW Scirocco. But even in entry-level trim, the Astra GTC adopts the sophisticated front suspension from the Insignia VXR, featuring Vauxhall’s HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), combined with the clever Watt’s link rear axle for unmatched stability and handling precision.

The third body style to come off the new Astra’s Delta platform (following the Hatch and last year’s Sports Tourer), the only elements the GTC shares with its siblings are door handles and the roof aerial – even the wheelbase and tracks are different. Brit, Mark Adams, Vauxhall’s Vice President of Design, has aimed to create a car that looks like it’s been plucked from the class above, with its low, wide stance and simple, yet rakish lines.