Vauxhall's has unveiled its rakish GTC concept at the Paris motor show.
The GTC Paris Concept is ostensibly a show car, but is expected to preview the new three-door Astra.
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Vauxhall confirms this saying the design “gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch’s successor” which is due next year, and the high-performance VXR variant that will arrive at the same time.
The firm has also suggested that the eventual production model will carry the GTC monicker, the first time it will have been used on a Vauxhall.
Styled under the direction of GM Europe’s British-born design chief, Mark Adams, the GTC concept mixes styling cues from across the firm’s model range.
In particular, the ‘blade’ surfacing on the car’s flanks is reversed from the five-door Astra’s, leading from the front door instead — in a manner used on the Insignia — to create a subtle, integrated side skirt. A second crease runs from the front edge of the door handles to the rear lights.
The front styling cues include a sharp crease down the centre of the bonnet — a feature from Vauxhalls of old, the firm claims — and headlights that sweep back into the front wings.
The rear gets LED tail-lights in a “flying wing” motif and a subtle spoiler at the top of a hatch that has a complex shutline.
The car is 4.46 metres long, around 4cm longer than the five-door — although the prominent, arched roofline and shallow rear glass area disguise this.
While its roof is clearly lower than the five-door Astra’s, Vauxhall claims the car still offers “ample space for five people”.
A VXR version is due to arrive at the same time as the bread-and-butter models. It’s likely to get a hefty increase in power over the outgoing car — perhaps to as much as 300bhp — and feature an electronic limited-slip differential, similar to the item already fitted to the GTC.
The VXR is likely to be the production model that uses most of the show car’s design flourishes. While the concept’s 21in wheels are likely to reduce in size for the hot three-door, its side window chrome embellishments and LED running lights may stay.
The concept has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with stop-start and a six-speed manual transmission. Its chassis set-up includes an updated version of Vauxhall’s Flexride adaptive damper system, and the same torsion beam rear suspension as the regular Astra.
Despite production-ready looks, the concept is appearing more than a year before the three-door Astra is due on sale in the UK late next year.