Opel and Vauxhall appear to be preparing to launch GSi versions of the next-generation Astra, slotting in below the top-of-the-line OPC/VXR hot hatch and spied undergoing testing near the Nürburgring in Germany.
Even more than in years past, this month's Geneva Motor Show press days were absolutely teeming with lust-worthy hot hatches. There was the new Seat Leon Cupra, the Honda Civic Type R concept, Volkswagen Scirocco R and Golf GTE, Audi S1 and Abarth 695 Biposto. But one of the most enticing of them all was the Opel Astra OPC Extreme.
More power, less weight. It's a winning formula when it comes to performance automobiles, and one we've seen applied time and time again. It's what Ferrari did to transform the 360 Modena into the Challenge Stradale, the F430 into the Scuderia and the 458 into the Speciale. Maserati does the same with the GranTurismo MC Stradale and Lamborghini with the Gallardo Superleggera. We could go on, but you get the point: it's a formula typically applied to exotic Italian supercars, but of course it's n
Vauxhall has three big reveals planned for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, one of them being the 280-horsepower Vauxhall Astra VXR that was announced last November as the Opel Astra OPC. That means the 2.0-liter turbo four lives underhood, and in addition to 276 ponies, it dishes out 295 pound-feet of torque. Handling is aided by the limited-slip differential for the front axle, the HiPerStrut suspension and the "fully adaptive FlixRide system."
While sales of the newly-minted (at least for the U.S.) Saturn Astra aren't exactly setting the world on fire, we found it to be a rather good vehicle with a chassis capable of handling plenty more power when we had it in our garage. Auto Express has what they claim is an official picture of the next-gen Vauxhall Astra VXR, which is sold in its base-model form as a Saturn in the states, and it looks pretty good. Expected in Europe is a new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine sending around 240 horsepo