Latest Opel is a Gem
The recent launch of two new models on successive days was hard work for General Motors South Africa. The stunning new compact coupé from Opel, the Astra GTC, stole the honours last week but that’s not to say that the Meriva was left in the shadows.
The Meriva has set a new benchmark in this segment, with many innovations that put it ahead of the pack.
But more about the GTC – which had jaded motoring hacks champing at the bit, wanting to unleash it on the well maintained Free State roads.
Traffic cops were out in force, ready to nab those who exceeded the speed limit – and they did!
Two people were arrested for driving at 161km/h and 162km/h respectively and are scheduled to appear in court.
So it was to be expected that the journos were reluctant to push the GTC to its capacity and opted to stay within the confines of the speed limit. But, even at slowish speeds, the GTC is a gem.
What is it?
The Astra GTC is a roomy five-seater, packed with innovations suited to everyday family use.
Two models of the GTC are being launched – the Astra GTC 1.4T Enjoy and the 1.6T Sport.
Drive is by means of a six-speed manual transmission for both models.
Both offer the latest in small capacity, turbocharged petrol engine technology from Opel, with power ranging from 103kW in the Enjoy to 132kW in the Sport model.
How does it look?
Stunning. It is one of the best-looking Opels ever to hit the road and oozes sex appeal.
It’s going to make petrolheads go wobbly at the knees with its looks and performance. Unlike most other three-door versions of existing hatch competitors, the Astra GTC has been styled as a stand-alone model in the range.
If you think the GTC is just a dolled-up Astra, you are wrong.
Although it is based on the Astra platform, the only common exterior elements shared with other members of the Astra family are the exterior rear-view mirror surrounds and the radio antenna.
Every panel and piece of metal is new, according to General Motors.
What’s it like to drive?
Very good. Road holding and performance are top-drawer stuff.
The Enjoy will get you to 100km/h in just 9.9 seconds and if you are brave (or foolish) enough, to a thoroughly illegal 201km/h.
The Sport will blow your hair back, reaching 100km/h in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 220km/h, enough to get locked up for a long time. The GTC is just the thing for trendy moms and dads, bored with the mundane.
Any special features?
Lots, but one we like in particular is the stop/start feature which, on the 1.4 Enjoy, will keep the bunny huggers happy, having a lower CO2 rating.
It’s not as obtrusive as others we have experienced.
Should you buy one?
Yes, most definitely.
It slots neatly into the Astra line-up and, considering its stunning looks and performance, parting with those hard-earned bucks at month-end will not be too painful .
- Opel Astra GTC Enjoy
Engine: 1,400cc turbocharged
Power: 103kW at 4,900rpm
Torque: 200Nm at 1,850 to 4,900rpm
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds
Top speed: 201km/h
Fuel consumption: 5.9/100km (claimed/ combined)
- Opel Astra GTC
Engine: 1,600cc turbocharged
Power: 132kW at 5,500rpm
Torque: 230Nm at 2,200 to 5,400rpm
0-100km/h: 8.3 seconds
Top speed: 220km/h
Fuel consumption: 6.8/100km (claimed/ combined)
Sexy styling and “must have” appeal.
We don’t like:
Not much, perhaps a bit pricey for the 1.4T Enjoy
Author: Bobby Cheetham
Source: Times Live
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