Vauxhall Astra GTC benefits from UK potholes

The Vauxhall Astra GTC, the all-new coupe from the car maker, has been tested specifically on UK roads because they are more challenging than European equivalents.

"Our road system is like no other in Europe," said Gerry Baker, Vauxhall Engineering Centre’s chief dynamicist. "We obviously test cars in many different countries, but the UK’s severely undulating and heavily cambered roads often reveal handling traits that would otherwise be hidden on smoother surfaced and more predictable continental roads."

The poor condition of UK roads ensured Vauxhall engineers could develop a chassis and suspension to provide a better drive than European-tested models, says Vauxhall.

Vauxhall has designed the Vauxhall Astra GTC to provide a sportier ride than its hatchback namesake. This usually comes at the expense of comfort, but Vauxhall has used UK roads to ensure the ride, handling and comfort of the car is perfect for UK drivers.

"The current Astra Hatch has always handled exceptionally well," said Michael Harder, Vehicle Dynamics Supervisor at Opel. "But with the GTC, we’ve raised the bar still further. Drivers will instantly appreciate the extra level of involvement – and grip – allowing them to exploit the potential of the basic Astra platform still further."

The Vauxhall Astra GTC is already available to order in the UK with prices starting from £18,495. The first of the three- door coupe models made their debut last month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Available with a choice of two 1.4-litre petrol engines (117bhp and 137bhp) and two 2.0-litre diesel units (160bhp and 175bhp), the Astra GTC will also spawn a VXR-badged hot hatch version in future.

In the meantime, the first models will be delivered to customers later this year, where it will join the Astra hatchback and Astra Sports Tourer in the small family car line up.