Vauxhall has been preparing the ground for the Astra GTC for some time. It revealed a concept of the same name at the Paris Motor Show in 2010, heralding it as a new type of Astra, and launched it in the UK in 2011.

Three-door Astras have always proved popular with buyers, but the GTC is an all-new shape that gives Vauxhall its first genuine coupe since the unloved mark IV. You need to go back even further in Vauxhall's history, to the Calibra and Manta of the 1980s and 1990s, to find anything that could be described as desirable. 

The GTC is the third derviative of the new Astra to be launched and is squarely arimed at the Volkswagen Scirocco, a car that uses the proven underpinnings of the Golf to deliver something altogether more special.

Vauxhall has retained the Astra name, but uses styling and some significant mechanical changes to transform the hatchback into a sporty, practical coupe. It gives the GTC credibility in a market that is starting to fill up with good cars such as the Hyundai Veloster and Toyota GT 86.

 

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • Porsche Cayman
    The Porsche Cayman is now in its second generation

    Porsche Cayman

    1
  • The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

    Toyota GT86

    2
  • BMW M235i
    The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

    BMW M235i

    3
  • Costliest car gets the deftest chassis to ever underpin a TT - the best reason yet to buy into Audi’s coupe.

    Audi TTS

    4
  • Peugeot RCZ R
    The front-drive RCZ R packs a 266bhp turbocharged engine

    Peugeot RCZ R

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Vauxhall range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    3 July 2015
    Charming four-door city car gets Smart's new six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, in a bid to make the Forfour more versatile
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    First UK drive in the latest-generation MX-5 reveals an iconic roadster that's back to its best
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    Extra firepower and pared-down kerb weight conjure even greater brilliance from the Boxster's chassis. Pricey – but superb to drive
  • BMW's prototype fuel cell concept is based on the 5GT
    First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Fuel cell-powered 5 Series GT concept previews a revolutionary storage and refuelling system which could pave the way for hydrogen to become the alternative fuel of choice
  • First Drive
    1 July 2015
    There's another BMW 2 Series variant on the horizon; we drive a late-stage prototype plug-in hybrid Active Tourer