Vauxhall GTC Paris concept (2010) first pictures

Published: 24 September 2010

This rather lovely red beauty is the Vauxhall GTC Paris concept, and our first look at how 2011’s new three-door Astra will look. But you know that because Vauxhall released the first pictures of this car back in early September – the reason we’re revisiting it is that we’ve now got a chance to glimpse inside the GTC Paris.

Vauxhall GTC Paris? So it’s exactly what is says on the tin?

That’s right – this is Vauxhall’s latest concept car, and it will be unveiled on 30 September at the 2010 Paris motor show. As for the GTC tag, that’s the new name for the three-door Astra – it’s goodbye to the Sport Hatch tag.

Concept cars tend to fall into two camps, either absolutely out-there show cars, or thinly veiled production vehicles. The GTC is definitely one of the latter, and bar the big 21-inch wheels, the chunky sills and bumpers, and the LEDs, what you see before you is what you’re going to get when the GTC hits showrooms in late 2011.

In the Paris show car’s ravishing red hue, the GTC looks rather nice, with some very tasteful yet muscular lines. According to Vauxhall/Opel design director Mark Adams, the upper grille has been shrunk and the lower air intakes enlarged ‘to emphasise the width and proximity close to the ground.’

What powers the new Astra GTC?

A direct injection and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine powers the GTC Paris concept. There’s an electronic limited slip differential and an updated version of Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive damping system too, plus stop/tech and a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s a strong hint at the future spec of a VXR version of the GTC.

That hyper hatch, due in late 2011, will have a turbo’d 2.0-litre four-pot with around 290bhp, and the electronic diff, adaptive suspension, and Vauxhall’s trick HiPerStrut front suspension will try and put all that power through the front wheels. Adams told CAR the GTC Paris was ‘a vision of what a sporty flagship for what the brand should be.’

And what about inside the Astra GTC Paris?

Much the same as the five-door Astra, and the overall architecture looks very production ready – expect good quality materials, well put together, but with a few too many buttons. The chunky seats should also see the light of day in the VXR version, but what you won’t get in the production GTC is the ‘positive/negative’ design, with the driver’s seat in red with black accents, and the passenger’s seat as the reverse. And the poem (all about speed) that’s emblazoned on the seats is very much a flight of fancy for the concept too.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy