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2003 Opel Astra GSi

2003-08-11 08:56

Wilmer Muller

Together with the new 2.2-litre Astra GSi Delta also announced a new entry-level 1.6 hatch, the Astra 1.6 Sport. The company also updated the Astra Coupe Turbo with a more powerful engine.

At the launch at Gosforth Park in Johannesburg Malcolm Gauld, Delta's director of sales and marketing, said that the company wants to get into the local performance market with the new GSi and updated Astra Coupe.

"With the GSi we are returning to our roots," he said with reference to the legendary Opel Kadett of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Delta admitted that they don't see the new Astra GSi as a rival for cars like the Golf GTI and RunX RSI.

They claim that the main selling focus of the GSI is its comprehensive package and it dynamics.

"The Astra GSi will inject a new element of excitement into the Astra range as a well honed all-round performer.

"It is capable of offering brisk acceleration combined with an effortless cruising capability and good fuel economy.

"That said, we are not position the GSi amongst the current crop of 'hot-hatches' that tend to offer blistering performance but more often than not with some compromise in terms of everyday use.

"The Astra GSi is a no compromise package that delivers on the promise of performance, driveability, comfort, and operating economy."

But the company also said it has something in stall in the near future for Opel performance fans.

Although Delta was very secretive about its "Opel blitz" they said that they are considering bringing some of the Opel Performance Cars (OPC) to local shores.

Gauld said that Delta also realised that it needs a new budget hatchback to rival cars like the Toyota RunX 1.6 and the new three-door entry-level Golf 1.6.

According to him the Astra 1.6 Sport is a "value performance model" with a competitive price tag.

Apparently some new Opel products will make their way to South Africa in late September.

More info:
Astra GSI
Astra 1.6 Sport
Astra Coupe Turbo

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