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.
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.
General Motors' European divisions are keeping mum on the details, but Opel and Vauxhall are preparing to unveil some sort of new concept car next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Opel at the 2010 Paris Motor Show – Click above for high-res image gallery
Fans of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Hatch in Europe can now get a special GTC edition with a "panoramic windscreen" that extends the top of the car's windshield back into the roof past the driver's head. It looks like it would be a blast to experience on whlie cruising the open, if not incredibly unsettling at first. GM Europe says the glass is a special heat absorbing variety and that a blind can be pulled forward if the driver and passenger want to hide from the sun.
To help kick off sales of its new Panoramic windshield option, Vauxhall has released a special edition Astra GTC that features the snazzy glass up front, exclusive GTC badging, 18" rims, foglights, ESP and interior goodies like A/C and sport seats. Only 500 of the special editions will be built, and they're being sold for £15,995 -- undercutting the more vanilla Astra Sport Hatch 1.8 SRi's asking price by a few pounds.