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SA gets sporty Astra GTC

2006-05-12 08:13

Hot wheels! Striking GTC will tackle the GTI

According to Opel the sellout success of the Astra GTC in Europe has resulted in the delay of just on a year in its introduction in South Africa.

The striking design of the GTC brings sporty proportions; a sleek silhouette defined by an arched, sloping roofline; a pronounced tapering of the front and rear overhangs; a body height that is 15mm lower than the 5-door Astra, and a roof height that is 32mm lower than the 5-door model.

Although the GTC shares its underpinnings with the 5-door Astra but GM says that GTC draws very little from the Astra 5-door body parts basket. Only the bonnet and front fenders are similar to that of its 5-door sibling.

The sleek character of the Astra GTC is accentuated by the availability of the optional "panorama" windshield.

This windshield extends from the normal windscreen base line right through to the B pillar to provide a new experience in terms of a sense of space and visibility.

The "panorama" windshield will be offered as one of two optional packages available for the Astra GTC. These are the Sport Pack and the Panoramic Pack.

To compliment its sizzling looks the GTC comes with dynamic features such as Opel's IDS (Interactive Driving System) chassis of which ESP-plus and ABS braking are standard. A sport set up, available at the push of a button, provides more responsive throttle and power steering inputs.

The two top of the line power units, the 2.0 litre ECOTEC turbo petrol engine with maximum power of 147 kW, and the 1.9 litre CDTi diesel engine are matched to six speed transmissions.

The 2.0 litre GTC, which is to rival cars such as the Focus ST and Golf GTI, is capable of a 0-100 km/h sprint in just 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 234 km/h.

However, the 1.9 litre CDTi model, is the real jewel in the GTC crown. This model, with a power output of 110 kW and 320 Nm of torque at 2 000 r/min, offers strong performance while at higher speeds you are hardly aware of the car's diesel roots due to very low engine noise levels.

It dashes from 0-100 km/h sprint in 8.9 seconds and boasts a top speed of 210 km/h.

The entry-level model comes with a 1.8-litre petrol engine with a power output of 103 kW.

All models comes with a multitude of airbags and another safety feature is the Opel PRS (Pedal Release System) that de-couples the pedals in the event of a severe crash impact to prevent the driver's legs and feet being trapped in the footwell.

The cars come well-equipped and standard features include 18-inch alloys, Switchable Sport Mode, power steering, cruise control, follow me home headlights, sports interior and radio/CD combo with 7 speakers.

The Sport Pack option adds: (+-R10 000)

  • Hill start-assist
  • Xenon lights
  • Leather trim
  • Heated front seats

    The Panoramic Pack option adds: (+-R30 000)

  • Hill start-assist
  • Xenon lights with Adaptive Forward Lighting
  • Leather trim
  • Heated front seats
  • Climate control
  • Electrochromatic rear view mirror
  • Graphic info display
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Panoramic windscreen

    Indicative pricing:

  • GTC 1.8: R196 000
  • GTC 1.9 CDTI: R229 700
  • GTC 2.0 Turbo: R232 600

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