Driver’s Opel Astra GSe revived the old designation – Autoreview

Until recently, the “hottest” Opels were designated by the prefix OPC (Opel Performance Center), but this practice has already been completed and cannot be renewed. Instead, Opel has revived the GSe designation, which will go to the most driver-driven and dynamic versions of production cars.

The company has been using the GSE prefix since the seventies, but then it stood for Grand Sport Einspritzung, denoting a fuel-injected engine. Now the designation GSe is derived from the words “Grand Sport electric”: such a prefix will go to the top versions of electrified Opel and Vauxhall models. We are talking not only about full-fledged electric vehicles, but also rechargeable hybrids. The petrol-electric Opel Astra GSe has just become the first-born of the new range, and at once in the form of a hatchback and Sports Tourer station wagon.

The new version got the most powerful version of the hybrid system, which was announced during the debut of the family, but has not yet appeared on production cars. The 1.6 petrol turbo engine and the electric motor produce a total of 225 hp. against 180 hp the younger hybrid, although the torque of the two versions is the same (360 Nm). The gearbox is an eight-speed automatic, and the traction battery with a capacity of 12.4 kWh should be enough for 63 km in electric mode.

The main feature of the GSe version is the driver’s chassis. Koni FSD amplitude-dependent shock absorbers and original springs were installed, the ground clearance was reduced by 10 mm. The steering and brakes have been retuned for increased responsiveness, and the calibration of the stabilization system has also been changed. The maximum speed of this hybrid is 235 km/h. Acceleration time to “hundreds” has not yet been announced, but the related Peugeot 308 with the same hybrid system does this exercise in 7.5 seconds – only 0.1 seconds faster than the 180-horsepower version.

On the outside, the GSe modification features an original front bumper, and 18-inch wheels are similar to those of last year’s Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD show car. The interior has front seats with increased lateral support. Alcantara is used for upholstery, sporty decor like metal pedals completes the picture.

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The Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe will hit the European market in January 2023. Pricing has yet to be announced, but a 180-horsepower hybrid Astra in Germany starts at €39,000, so you should expect around €45,000.