Vauxhall has beaten the speculating voices of the Internet to the Paris Motor Show punch by pulling the covers off of its GTC Concept well ahead of the main event. According to the company, what you see above is likely to have more than a little influence on the next Astra Sport Hatch. In classic concept style, the GTC rolls on epic 21-inch wheels that aren't likely to find their way to the production version of the car any time soon. That's not to say that this creation is pure fantasy, though.
For one thing, there's a direct-injection, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine snugged under the hood, complete with a functioning start/stop system and a six-speed manual gearbox. That choice of powerplant seems a little too realistic to just be a show-circuit folly, so our guess is that the Astra Sport Hatch will likely boast similar hardware when it hits the road to take on cars like the Volkswagen Scirocco. Hit the jump for the full press release and check out the gallery for a closer look. Vauxhall will show off the GTC Concept in Paris starting on September 30, and we'll be on-hand to give you live shots and impressions of its reveal.
* Three door Astra-based concept stars on Vauxhall's Paris Show Stand
* Dynamic, sweeping lines make bold statement about Vauxhall's design evolution
* Innovative suspension and drivetrain features hint at performance remit
Luton–These are the first official pictures of Vauxhall's GTC Paris Concept, which gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch's successor and is set to cause a stir when it receives its debut on September 30 at the Paris Motor Show.
Mark Adams, Vauxhall/Opel's Vice President of Design, has described the GTC Paris as, 'bold, pure and iconic' in its appearance. Vauxhall has hinted that a production version will not stray far from the rakish lines of the concept, and if the GTC moniker were to be adopted, it would be the first time that a Vauxhall has been so named.
At 4.46 metres, the GTC Paris offers ample space for five people, yet still maintains a svelte and sporting appearance. Adams' team has maximised 'tension' in the design by limiting the amount of lines in the car's profile, and leaving the impression that the car's highlights and surfacing are 'pressed' on to the concept's 21-inch wheels.
Vauxhall's signature blade mimics that on the Insignia and creates a fine, tense crease along the rocker panel. This combines with a second line running from the door handle to the rear of the car, emphasising both a fine undercut and broad shoulder. A third line following the silhouette of the roof is finished in fine brushed aluminium accentuating the window graphic and leads to a sharply accented integrated spoiler.
Slim, eagle-eye shaped headlamps, flanked by LED running lights with chrome surrounds dominate the front of the GTC Paris. A sharp centreline crease runs down the bonnet (a trademark styling cue from Vauxhalls of yore) and leads to a dramatically low trapezoidal grille incorporating a chrome emblem bar.
At the rear, the imposing features of the concept are enhanced with LED tail lights, showcasing a long, stretched 'wing' night time graphic.
Underpinning the GTC Paris is a specially designed chassis with an extra-wide stance. Hinting at the car's power potential is an electronic limited slip differential and an updated version of Vauxhall's FlexRide adaptive damping system. The new Astra's unique compound crank / Watt's link rear suspension provides excellent packaging and secure, driver-focused dynamics.
A four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, with direct petrol injection and Start/Stop technology is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, providing drivers with high levels of performance and fuel efficiency.
More details about the GTC Paris Concept will be revealed before the Paris Motor Show.