Opel SA recently launched the GTC compact coupé and we test-drive the new Astra GTC 1.4 Turbo 3-door.
Opel SA has finally unleashed the sport coupé that takes the Astra to the next level. It's a bit of a tease as the OPC model is the ultimate in the Opel Astra model line-up.
Opel’s design team reworked the body of the standard Astra to achieve a unique balance practicality, bold sport statement and roomy interior (it can accommodate five people, but I can’t say comfortably, though). Most sport coupés don’t offer what the GTC offers. Access to the rear seats is made easy via an easy-access system with memory, which ensures that the front seat returns to its original position after being folded forward to allow access to the rear seat. I like this features, as finding that comfortable driving position after moving the seat is a mission.
The rear seat has a 60:40 split to allow load and luggage flexibility. The ratio is good, considering you won’t be carring luggage and goods. If space and load capacity is an issue, rather opt for the 5-door Astra.
The GTC has a masculine look, all thanks to the 18-inch alloy wheels, roof spoiler, smoked tail light and lower sports chassis.
The heart of the GTC
The heart of the GTC is the awesome latest generation 1.4 Turbo petrol engine that delivers 103 kW of power at 4 900 revs per minute with a peak torque of 200 Nm. This little monster accelerates from standstill to the 100km/h mark in 9,9 seconds and top speed is limited at just 201km/h.
Opel claims fuel consumption of around 5,9 litre per 100km. One of the features that will help with fuel consumption is the Start/Stop function that comes standard in the GTC range.
Features worth mentioning
• Speed sensitive power steering – the steering wheel electronically adjusts to the condition of the road and the speed you are traveling at. You will notice the difference when driving at around 100-120km per hour and depending on the road, the steering will be stiff.
• Cruise control with speed limiter function.
• Four-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats – you can manually adjust the seat forward, up, down and they have recliners. Must be honest though, it took a while to get a comfortable driving position.
• The electronic driver aid package – this includes ABS brakes, stability control, traction control, braking assistant and steering brake control. Adaptive brake lights will warm the driver behind you of extreme or emergency braking.
• The Pedal Release System – I didn't test this feature, but as per the manual (yes, I read the manual!), this feature allows the foot pedals to fold away from the position of the driver's feet in order to prevent injuries in this area. Impressive.
Personally, if I had R287 000, I would buy it without a second thought. The selling points for GTC are:
• Bold sharp sporty looks (will set you apart from rest), even though the VW Scirocco and the Renault Mégane Coupé are worthy contenders.
• Dynamic and fun driving experience. You get to be one with the car as it gets you involved.
• And it’s an Opel. You can never go wrong with an Opel.
The GTC is targeted at young up-and-coming executives, who are kicking butt in their fields and want the status of a car like this to prove that, without screaming for attention. It looks good, has enough power and has no shortage of class and style.