Harry Leahey

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Vauxhall has announced a sporty version of its Astra model - the first car in its lineup to gain upgrades from its GSe performance sub-brand

Available in hatchback and estate form, the Astra GSe features the same powertrain as the regular Astra plug-in hybrid, consisting of a 1.6- litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.4kWh battery, though power output has been increased from 178bhp to 222bhp.

Said to offer  sharper handling and a more dynamic drive, the Astra GSe comes equipped with tuned dampers from GSe and a sport-calibrated steering wheel, while the ride height has been lowered by 10mm. 

The car sits on 18 inch alloys, while the exterior has GSe badging and a bespoke front bumper to help differentiate it from regular Astra models. Meanwhile, the interior comes fitted with Alcantara front sports seats. 

James Taylor, Acting Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “The All-New Astra GSe and All-New Astra Sports Tourer GSe are the ideal cars for launching our dynamic new sub-brand, offering sporty styling, enhanced driving performance and all the benefits of an electrified powertrain. 

“As we work towards becoming an all-electric brand by 2028, our range-topping GSe models will showcase that electrified performance and driving pleasure can go hand-in-hand.”

Vauxhall has not released 0-60 times or top speed for its Astra GSe yet, nor has it confirmed pricing. Since the current, range-topping Astra Ultimate costs £36,115, expect the GSe variant to start from around £40,000 when orders open later this year, ahead of deliveries in early 2023. 

The GSe sub-brand was announced earlier this month, which Vaxuhall claims combines sporty handling and looks with the performance and environmental advantages of electrified powertrains. 

Cars to also gain the GSe treatment include the fully electric Vauxhall Corsa-e, as well as the plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Grandland.  

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Harry Leahey 29/12/22