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An updated Opel Astra GTC Sport will be here in July, debuting a new turbocharged engine and automatic transmission.

Fitted with Opel’s all-new 1.6-litre four-cylinder SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) Turbo engine and tied to a six-speed automatic transmission for the first time, the $36,990 Opel Astra GTC Sport auto is $2000 dearer than the existing six-speed manual variant, which curiously uses the carry-over engine.

While the new 125kW/280Nm direct injection engine develops less power than the manual GTC Sport’s 132kW/230Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre unit, torque is improved as is efficiency. A combined cycle fuel consumption claim of 6.8 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 160 grams per kilometre bettering the manual’s 7.3L/100km and 171g/km.

Opel Corsa 2011

The new automatic does lose the performance battle, however, taking 9.2 seconds to reach triple figures compared with the manual’s 8.3 seconds – its 61kg weight penalty playing its part.

Featuring an Active Select manual shifting function, the new automatic Opel Astra GTC Sport comes standard with Opel’s sport chassis and HiPerStrut front suspension, heated front sports seats and leather trim, mirroring the equipment levels of its manual counterpart.

Opel Australia says while a manual version of the new 1.6 SIDI Turbo engine is available in overseas markets, introducing the combination locally is “something we’re looking at down the track”.

Opel Astra GTC Sport manufacturer’s list pricing:

Opel Astra GTC Sport 1.6 Ecotec Turbo six-speed manual – $34,990
Opel Astra GTC Sport 1.6 SIDI Turbo six-speed automatic – $36,990