2013 Vauxhall Astra GTC - dynamic - front three-quarter view, red

European automakers offer some tempting hot hatches, but the stark reality of gas prices that are even higher across the pond than they are here in the United States dictates that most buyers are opting for diesels. Vauxhall is here to say, however, that it doesn't have to be one or the other.

Slotting in below its VXR performance range is a new turbodiesel Astra, packing a 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel four with 195 horsepower and a whopping 295 lb-ft of torque. The sequential twin-turbo oil-burner is the same as Vauxhall offers in the larger Insignia, but in the smaller hatchback, all that twist helps the Astra GTC BiTurbo run from 0 to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds en route to a 139 mph top speed, all the while returning 53.3 miles per gallon on the European combined cycle - thanks in part to the standard stop/start system.

The new engine option is being launched together with a styling update to both the hatchback and Sports Tourer wagon versions of the Astra. The revision includes a new front grille, bumper and lamps, as well as a reshaped tail. A front camera system is also on offer to help keep that new chin clear of curbs, all of which you can read more about in the press release below and scope out in the high-resolution image gallery above.
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NEW-LOOK ASTRA AND HOT GTC DIESEL JOIN VAUXHALL'S RANKS
2012-06-15

- Brit-built Astra Hatch and Sports Tourer get new, bold look
- New GTC BiTurbo diesel becomes most powerful non-VXR Astra model
- All Astras now available with range of new options, including Front Camera System
- Underpins Astra success as best-selling British-built car in UK

Luton – These are the first official pictures of the new-look Astra Hatch and Sports Tourer, along with the latest addition to the GTC range, the 195PS BiTurbo diesel model.

Available to order now, with first deliveries in September, the refreshed design of the Astra Hatch and Sports Tourer – both of which are built at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire – gives the cars a more bold and aggressive appearance. Both body styles get a new front grille, with repositioned logo-bar in the upper section and a re-styled lower section too. New front indicator lamps and a new design of fog lamp (where fitted) complete the front-end revisions.

The rear of both models has also been refreshed, with new rear-panel styling complemented by a chrome lower moulding.

New-look Astra pricing remains unchanged from the previous model.

Also available to order from today is the Astra GTC 2.0 CDTiBiTurbo, which will become the most powerful non-VXR model in the range, producing 195PS and 400Nm of torque. And while the extra power and torque give it a healthy lift in performance with 0-60mph arriving in just 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 139mph, the BiTurbo still achieves a combined 53.3mpg and C02 emissions of 139g/km. All BiTurbos receive Vauxhall's Start/Stop system as standard.

Uniquely in this class, the GTC uses a sequential turbocharging system, with the smaller turbo accelerating quickly at lower speeds to eliminate 'lag', providing 350Nm of torque from just 1500rpm. In the mid-range, both turbochargers work together providing maximum torque of 400Nm between 1750-2500rpm.

The Astra GTC BiTurbo enters the range at £23,925 – a premium of £995 over the GTC 2.0 CDTi 165PS model – but in addition to extra power and torque, receives: bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels, Electronic Climate Control, 6mm lower ride-height, a new body-kit and 'Track' interior trim, with a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel.

Enhancing the appeal of all Astra models still further is the introduction of a raft of options previously unseen in the range. Customers can now order the Driver Assistance Pack, which for £750 includes features like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and Following Distance Indicator.

Other new options for the Hatch and Sports Tourer only include a Rear View Camera Pack, Winter Pack (heated steering wheel and seats for £345) and LED daytime running lights (£145). Three new colours – Sculpture Bronze, Phantom Grey and Deep Sky – have also been introduced, while the Astra's standard DAB radio has been upgraded to a DMB (Digital Media Broadcast) system across the range.

As with all Vauxhall passenger cars, Lifetime Warranty is standard, giving first owners the peace of mind of a warranty that literally lasts the car's lifetime, up to a maximum 100,000 miles.