Rüsselsheim - The new Opel Astra GTC makes its world premiere at the international Paris Motor Show (September 25 - October 10, 2004). With its expressive, dynamic design, the Astra GTC (Gran Turismo Compact) delivers what its name promises. At the same time, the third unique model - after the five-door and station wagon - in the new Astra generation is the most dramatic interpretation of the Astra form language. The GTC's look is accentuated by a panorama windshield, which is making its own world premiere in the three-door model. The glass sunroof extending to the B-pillar creates a whole new sense of space and driving feeling.
At market launch, the Astra GTC comes with a choice of five gasoline and three CDTI common-rail diesel engines with power outputs from 90 to 200 hp. All engines comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard. Both 2.0-liter gasoline turbo engines as well as the 1.9 CDTI units with 120 and 150 hp promise exciting driving. A state-of-the-art maintenance-free diesel particulate filter (DPF) is available for both 1.9 CDTI models. Technology that is exclusive to Opel in the compact class further enhances the Astra's dynamics. This includes the adaptive, networked IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and the steering-linked AFL headlamps (Adaptive Forward Lighting).
A high level of active and passive safety is ensured by the SAFETEC protection system, which was key in Euro NCAP awarding the five-door Astra the maximum five star rating, also making the car the safest sedan in its class. The three-door Astra was designed as a unique model based on the technology and equipment of the other Astra variants.
Hans Demant, Chairman and Managing Director, Adam Opel AG and Vice President Engineering, GM Europe: "We have given the Astra GTC a unique look without compromising Opel's customary everyday driveability. The three-door model addresses customers who are looking for an expressive design and a car that is really fun to drive."
Friedhelm Engler, Astra Chief Designer and Director, Design Integration, GM Europe, adds: "We intensified the emotionality of the GTC's design compared to the other Astra models. The GTC has a sleek design and represents the most dynamic expression of the Astra form language. That is of course not achieved by simply reducing the number of doors on an existing model."
The Astra GTC (length/width incl. exterior mirrors/height: 4288/2033/1413 millimeters) boasts striking design features including sporty proportions with short overhangs, distinctive tail lights and, particularly compared to the five-door model, even more pronounced tapering of the front and rear. The characteristic arched sloping roof and the angular rear side windows create a particularly taut profile. The wide, sculpted shoulders accentuate the powerful shape of the body, which is around 15 millimeters lower than the five-door's.
The Astra GTC offers practically the same space and everyday suitability as the five-door model. With a compact rear that underlines its long, 2.61-meter wheelbase, the GTC offers the same luggage compartment volume (380 liters) as the five-door Astra. The rear seat backs can be folded down (standard 60:40 or optional 40:20:40 split) for more flexible use of interior space. Even though the designers snugly pulled in the side windows to give the body-shoulder more tightness, two adults can comfortably travel in the rear.
The dynamics of the new Astra GTC's looks turn into action on the road, thanks to the IDS chassis (Interactive Driving System) with ESPPlus, the optional IDSPlus adaptive chassis system with electronic damping control (CDC) and the networking of all electronic chassis systems. In addition, the GTC driver can activate a sport set-up at the touch of a button (SportSwitch) that regulates damper adjustment as well as accelerator-pedal and power steering response. In conjunction with automatic and Easytronic transmissions, gear shift points are modified for a sportier driving style.
The Astra GTC is manufactured in Antwerp, Belgium, where the five-door model and the station wagon are also produced. Planned annual capacity for the three-door model is around 70,000 units. Marketing experts in Rüsselsheim expect the GTC to make up 15 to 20 percent of Astra registrations in Europe. The Astra GTC goes on sale in spring 2005.
(Sept 13, 2004)