Opel Astra GTC (2007)

Opel Astra GTC

The new edition Astra GTC (Gran Turismo Compact) was launched in February 2007 with new economical engines, refined looks, improved technology and an expanded equipment range. When the GTC originally came onto the market in March 2005, the automotive press dubbed it "possibly the most exciting Astra ever". Based on the dynamic three-door model, the new edition boasts a total of 11 engine versions with an output range of 90 to 240 hp. The top-of-the-line model is the Astra OPC with a top speed of 244 km/h. Some of the GTC's most distinctive design characteristics include the converging, forward-pointing stance and slimline, sleek silhouette with an arched, sloping roofline. The successful model's unique character is accentuated by a world premiere: the panorama windshield, which is standard in the Astra GTC Cosmo, extends from the hood up into the roof to the B-pillar and creates a whole new sense of space and visibility. The compact three-door's technological highlights include the adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC), as well as the AFL headlamp system (Adaptive Forward Lighting) with dynamic curve light.

Design and packaging

With its even more exciting and dynamic appearance, the new Astra GTC model sets itself further apart from its competitors and serves as a blueprint for future Opel models. Designers further honed the distinctive brand face that was first presented in this model line, while ensuring the car is still clearly recognizable as a member of the Astra family. The sporty honeycomb grille is especially eye-catching.

The Astra GTC owes its powerful look to its sporty proportions, which it achieves without compromise in terms of everyday functionality. It has the same wheelbase as the sedan, and headroom in the GTC is only reduced slightly thanks to a lower seating position. In addition, the GTC has a generous and practical luggage compartment volume of 340 liters. The rear bench seat back can be split and folded forward for more flexible use of interior space.

The new-edition Astra's interior boasts surfaces with an even more high-quality look and feel. Distinctive design elements in the cockpit include the prominent center console, additional chrome rings for the air conditioning and radio controls, as well as new trim for the doors and instrument panel, which also boasts three-dimensional instruments. The top Cosmo variant features décor trim and inlays made from luxurious piano lacquer surfaces.

Passive safety

Just like the predecessor model, the new Astra GTC boasts high levels of safety. The consumer protection organization Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) awarded the Astra GTC basis, the five-seater sedan, the highest rating of five stars for adult passenger protection. With a total of 34 points, Euro NCAP classified it as one of the safest vehicles in the compact class. The Astra also achieved very good results for child protection, with four stars and 39 points.

The Astra GTC's extensive SAFETEC safety package includes thorax/pelvis side airbags in both front seats. These complement the two front airbags and the head curtain airbags that stretch along the entire length of the interior in the left and right roof pillars. Both outer rear seats come with ISOFIX mountings for child seats as standard.

Chassis and active safety

The Astra GTC delivers pronounced agility and precise handling with a high level of driving safety. The basis for the GTC's pronounced agility and precise handling is provided by the IDS (Interactive Driving System) chassis with McPherson front axle, patented torsion-beam rear axle, as well as progressive spring suspension and dampers, and a lowering of the body by 15 mm (compared to the five-door model). Every GTC comes standard with Electronic Stability Program ESPPlus, Traction Control TCPlus, front and rear disk brakes, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), brake assist and Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS).

The optional IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) is also available. This integrated chassis control system, in which the control units and sensors of ESPPlus, ABS and CDC exchange data constantly, was introduced to the compact class for the first time in the Opel Astra. GTC owners also benefit from IDSPlus when it comes to driving fun: a touch of the SportSwitch activates the sport mode, resulting in more direct suspension, steering and gas pedal response.

Although the GTC's chassis previously counted among the best in its class, engineers found potential for improvement in details. An example of this is the optional Trailer Stability Assist's (TSA) control system. The newest generation of this safety system reduces instability in the car-trailer combination earlier and more effectively.

Engines and transmissions

A range of seven gasoline and four diesel units with displacements from 1.3 to 2.0 liters and power outputs from 66 to 177 kW (90 to 240 hp) is available for the Astra GTC. The two brand-new 1.6-liter gasoline units, the 85 kW/115 hp four-cylinder engine with continuous variable camshaft phasing and the 132 kW/180 hp turbo version with overboost function are all equipped to meet future exhaust emission standards. This is also true for the two new 1.7 CDTI common-rail turbo diesels with 81 kW/110 hp or 92 kW/125 hp, which will expand the engine range during spring 2007. All four engines achieve the balance of more power with lower fuel consumption. The wide selection of engines is complemented by a transmission range which includes five and six-speed manual gearboxes, automated Easytronic five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions, as well as four and six-speed automatics.

Quality and economic efficiency

The new Astra GTC, which is manufactured at the Belgian plant in Antwerp, meets the highest standards in quality, reliability and service life. Owners profit from long service intervals and reduced maintenance volume, which help minimize operating costs. The excellent value retention, which has been confirmed by assessment institutes, is ensured by the extensively galvanized body with a 12-year anti-perforation warranty. A further customer benefit: as with all its other models, Opel offers a two-year new-car manufacturer's warranty for the Astra GTC that goes far beyond the mandatory guarantee.