Opel Reveals 2012 Astra GTC in Europe, Should We Get It As A Buick?

Although we've seen concepts and renderings of the next-generation Opel/ Vauxhall Astra GTC, until now, we haven’t seen photos of the finished thing. Seeing as GM Europe’s all-new hot hatch officially makes its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this summer (before making another debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September), the automaker has seen fit to release more images and details surrounding the GTC.

Previewed by the GTC Concept that was shown at last year’s Paris Motor Show, the three-door gains its own design, more aggressive than either the five-door or the wagon, with a sharp character line running from the door handles to the rear to complement the signature Opel sideblade on the lower portion of the door carried over from others in the lineup. Slim, “eagle-eye” headlamps (complete with optional LED running lights) frame a chrome strip with the Opel badge, which rests above an large, trapezoidal lower fascia grille.

Mechanically, the GTC differs from other Astra variants by way of suspension tuning. A new front suspension incorporates GM’s HiPerStrut assemblies (also found in the Insignia OPC, the Buick LaCrosse CXL, and the forthcoming Buick Regal GS) in an attempt to curb torque steer. While lesser models make do with a cost-effective beam axle in back, GTC cars receive a unique, Watt’s link rear axle.

Initially, the Astra GTC will be offered with four different engine choices, each paired with a six-speed manual transmission.  A turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 is available in either 120- or 140-hp form, while a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 throws down 180 hp. One diesel offering -- a 165-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 -- is available for thrifty consumers (it’s expected to return 48 mpg on the European combined test cycle). Speed junkies will need to wait until 2012 for any additional power, as Opel says a high-performance OPC model should arrive sometime next year.

That’s all well and good, but will the Astra GTC ever come stateside? For the time being, the answer is no, but we’re curious if this shapely hot hatch could find be successful, particularly if it sneaked its way into Buick’s North American lineup. Seeing as the 2012 Verano -- which launches in the U.S. later this year -- is essentially a restyled Astra, the idea isn’t exactly impossible. Buick officials, however, indicate adding the three-door to the portfolio is improbable, at best.

Do you think thatthe new Astra GTC thee-door could be a nice complement to the Verano sedan, or should GM leave the hatchback as a European exclusive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: GM

jim schwebach
A little older than the target market for this car at 68, I'd still buy the little darlin' and drive the daylights out of it. It would make a fine complement to the Northstar Aurora, the supercharged '91 Silverado 350 and that beat up old 52 BelAir. Call it what you want, bring it cause we want.
To Buick guys: Please, please do not put waterfall grille. You will destroy the whole beauty. If you want to do something, just re-badge it, but do not touch anything else regarding the styling and I am your customer.
For too long GM has produced some some really good cars through their European Opel division, while pushing some of the worst cars in history on us here in North America. I say ditch the Buick pretense and just import the entire Opel line.
This car WAS sold here as the SATURN ASTRA XR, albeit with the WRONG ENGINE, the 1.8 with 138hp never lived up to the 18" wheels and sport tuning. I agree totally that OPEL should be sold here, it is the BEST GM brand along with HOLDEN. The Regal is the Open Insignia, the Lacross is a stretched Opel Insignia...so the Verano is an Astra with Buick waterfall grill...but the Astra GTC/OPC fits better in the CHEVY line-up than the Buick Line up...as the CRUZE RS/SS. 2.0 liter turbo REQUIRED
HELL YES GET IT HERE FAST! Im in the 35 to 45 male class also and i dont care what its sold as chevy or buick, just as long as its got the 1.6/180hp the 2.0 165hp/diesel then the opc engine lets get it here fast! GM'S BIGGEST MISTAKE IS NOT GETTING IT HERE QUICK!
Paul Richardson
Buick/GM would be well advised to take a gamble. VW is trying to take a much higher US market share and the Golf is an extremely nice car but a little boxy and ugly. VW has made a mistake not bringing the Scirroco to the US the Opel GTC will compete head on with the Golf and will sell on just just looks and uniqueness alone. I would have purchased a scirroco if it was available in the US. With gas prices rising the market is changing to be more europian. Being English i miss some europian style and practicality.....
Roland Bernard
My father retired from GM, more specifically Buick. We had four Opels while I grew up, and three Skyhawks. GM should import the Astra (and maybe another model or two) and sell them as captive import models to accent the Buick line as was done in the 1960's and 1970's. This would be a nice competitor to VW's Golf series.
I agree with vinnie, call it the monza. They should bring it and even for automobilemag.com there has been a lot of response to bring it. Open your ears GM this is what America wants!
I want the diesel!
Phil Macaluso
I love it. In my opinion it should be brought here asap. I agree it does not fit Buick. It is a hatchback and unfortunately U.S. auto buyers would rather spend more money for heavier, bigger less fuel efficient tall wagons disquised with 4 wheel drive and called SUV's.
Al Horn
Why import them, just start selling Opels here.
I like the looks of this. GM should bring it over as a Buick. Buick sold a hatchback before... it was called the Skyhawk. I don't think they should use that name :-) Maybe they could resurrect the Centurion.
Don't even ask....JUST BRING IT!!!!!Name it the Chevrolet Monza!
Paul Lopez
a hatchback in Buick disguise??? doesn't fit in with the line up.
For those of us who like 2 door hatchbacks there are not too many choices. If GM brings it here, I will at least test drive it.
Scott David Smith
I think the new Buick that has been cloned from the Chevy Cruze is a disgrace. Realizing brand engineering is inevitable, I would far far far rather GM take the best of the Opel and Holden lines and make them emissions / safety friendly for the US and slap a Buick Tri-Shield on it and let 'em rip. Those cars are far more the aspiration of buttoned downed near luxury vehicles than the Buick Cruze or even the Buick LaCrosse for that matter which I still think is more in competition with an Avalon than anything else. And my demographic is the 35-45 single male crowd. I currently have a Toyota Tundra and a Lexus IS350.

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