2012 Opel Astra GTC – Click above for high-res image gallery
The last time an Opel Astra hit our shores, it dropped the Lightning Bolt and added a Saturn badge. General Motors' harmless little rebadging exercise didn't fare so well last time, but the automaker is looking to have a bit more luck re-purposing the newest Astra as the upcoming Buick Verano. According to sources from Car and Driver, GM may not stop there.
C/D reports that The General is looking to bring the three-door Opel Astra GTC Stateside. The sultry-looking hatch would give the Tri-Shield brand a sporty alternative to the Verano sedan, and a vehicle that could appeal to a younger audience. Since the Astra GTC shares the same platform as the Verano, we're guessing powertrains will be the same, with a choice of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder pushing 177 horsepower and a turbocharged 2.0-liter variant with 220 ponies. An even hotter OPC version of the GTC is rumored to be on the way to Europe as well, but we don't even dare to dream such a glorious dream. Gear shifts should come from a choice of six-speed auto and manual transmissions.
Opel is also rumored to be working on a drop-top variant of the Astra GTC, with the same great-looking rear end but without the Astra name on the boot. The convertible, which will reportedly arrive in Europe toward the end of 2012, will feature a cloth convertible top and the same powertrains as the GTC. The convertible could also make its way to the U.S. with a Buick badge, but details appear to be a lot more sketchy on this model. If Buick does receive a convertible, it will be the brand"s first droptop since the ill-fated Reatta.