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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.

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Some automotive assembly plants have test tracks on premises. We've even heard of a few that have test tracks on the roof. But at GM's Ellesmere Port factory in the UK, one driver performs his tests inside the factory, and has been doing so for the past half century.

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From Franz Ferdinand To James Dean, Things That Go Honk In The Night

Any kid lucky enough to grow up in Detroit is familiar with the Henry Ford Museum. It's huge, full of shiny things and a great place to take a child and let them burn off some energy. After several field trips and weekend outings however, the dusty concept vehicles and famous aircraft tend to lose their punch for youngsters. As a fifth grader, I was already gazing on the museum's many gems with glassy eyes. On yet another school trip, we made our way to John F. Kennedy's death car, a gleaming bl

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There are few things more frustrating in life than watching your car being towed away and not being able to do anything about it. However, this guy reportedly in Walthamstow, East London, apparently wasn't going to let that happen to him.

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A refresh to Buick's popular Verano sedan appears to be nigh, thanks to these spy photos that show the tweaked four-door testing in Germany.

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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.

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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

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You may know it as an Opel, a Vauxhall, a Holden, a Chevy, a Buick or even a Saturn, depending on where you live. But whatever emblem it's wearing, the Astra is straightforward car. Nothing particularly remarkable about it. Which is why this series of records is pretty darn impressive.

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It seems like every couple of years or so, some rumor emerges speculating that Buick will be getting a convertible, and the Tri-Shield brand has even helped out the rumormill with various topless concepts. We wonder if Buick might finally be able to get its first convertible in more than 20 years following the introduction of the Vauxhall Cascada later this month.

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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.

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The Opel Astra CC suffers from the same ailment as other small, hardtop convertibles like the Renault Megane and Peugeot 308 cc: an ungainly backside. Stowing a tin roof that needs to cover four people inside a small car just blows things up in the rear. That's why the head of General Motors design in Europe says that the next Astra cabrio won't be a hardtop, but return to cloth.

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A more engaging driving experience should always be considered a wonderful thing, and it's clear from the Astra GTC that Opel agrees. The compact hatchback has its sights set squarely on the Volkswagen Scirocco, and it's clear the two cars share a common design ideology. Low and sleek, the Astra GTC has been styled to provide enthusiasts with a sneak peek of the driving experience waiting once they strap in behind the wheel.

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2010 Vauxhall GTC Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

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The new Vauxhall Astra – or something or someone claiming to be the new Vauxhall Astra – has co-written a book on driving manners. The other co-writer is Debrett's, an English version of Miss Manners except that Debrett's has been dispensing etiquette advice for more than 200 years, long before Miss Manners' was even a zygote.

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Vauxhall Astra VXR Arctic – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Opel/Vauxhall Astra SportsTourer spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Like many other Opel/Vauxhall models across the range, the new Astra is getting a low-CO2 version to compete in the green market. Named ecoFLEX, the new Astra uses an updated version of the 1.3-liter CDTi engine that was co-developed with Fiat and produces 95 horsepower. This engine, along with the usual refinements to aerodynamics, higher gear ratios and low-rolling resistance tires, helps the model achieve a CO2 emission rating of 109 g/km and fuel consumption of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg U.S.). Fo

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