Light­ning look­ers

Two di­verse but equally stylish mod­els will lead Opel’s lo­cal charge, writes

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

WHEN Opel sets up shop in Aus­tralia next year it will have a pair of good-look­ing hero cars to open the ac­tion.

The flag­ship of the As­tra line-up, the GTC coupe, has just been un­veiled in Europe along­side the lat­est ver­sion of the Zafira peo­ple-mover.

Opel has yet to fi­nalise its lo­cal range but the GTC and Zafira are both likely to be high on the list, once they are re­vealed in pro­duc­tion form at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

GM staffers in Aus­tralia won’t elab­o­rate be­yond what Opel has al­ready stated — the Corsa (Holden’s old Barina source), the As­tra and the In­signia model ranges will come here in 2012.

While the spe­cific model line-up is not yet con­firmed, the GTC (Gran Turismo Com­pact) is a likely starter as the Opel range is ex­pected to repli­cate the pre­vi­ous Holden As­tra range, which was halted in 2010.

The sharp-look­ing three­door hatch should lead an As­tra charge that in­cludes a five-door hatch, a wagon and con­vert­ible.

The pow­er­plant line-up in Europe will kick off with four choices of en­gine — one diesel and three petrol — with some sim­i­lar en­gine choices to the Se­ries II Cruze.

Tak­ing care of the diesel side will be the up­graded 121kW/380Nm 2.0-litre com­mon-rail turbo — with start-stop func­tion and par­tic­u­late fil­ter and a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

Opel claims 4.9L/100km, 0-100km/h in 8.9 sec­onds and a range of 1100km. Start-stop will also be on the 88kW and 103kW ver­sions of the 1.4-litre turbo petrol pow­er­plants, both with sixspeed man­ual gear­boxes. The top-spec is a 132kW 1.6-litre turbo with a claimed top speed of 220km/h.

Opel has re­vealed chas­sis and driv­e­train de­tails in ad­vance of the Frank­furt show, with the GTC model get­ting the ‘‘HiPerStrut’’ front sus­pen­sion. The front end is sim­i­lar to that of the per­for­mance In­signia OPC — a deriva­tion of the stan­dard MacPherson strut set-up that Opel says pro­vides bet­ter wheel guid­ance, grip and (most im­por­tantly, given its pre­de­ces­sor’s flaw) re­duced torque steer.

The GTC is 15mm lower than the stan­dard As­tra and will also have the adap­tive damp­ing ‘‘FlexRide’’ ad­justable three-stage sus­pen­sion sys­tem.

Opel’s Frank­furt stand also will fea­ture a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the Zafira seven-seater.

The Zafira Tourer gets the FlexRide damper sys­tem and in a five-seat con­fig­u­ra­tion fits 710 litres of cargo, in­creas­ing to 1860 litres with all seats folded.

Big seller: Zafira Tourer Flag­ship: Opel

As­tra GTC

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