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.