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by Tim Beissmann

German manufacturer Opel has released the first official images of the Vauxhall/Opel GTC Paris Concept ahead of its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show on September 30.

The seemingly production-ready concept is based on a three-door Astra design and according to Opel “gives the strongest hint yet to the Astra Sport Hatch’s successor”.

Vauxhall/Opel vice president of design, Mark Adams, suggested the production version of the vehicle “will not stray far” from the concept’s design and could potentially wear the GTC badge in what would be a first for Vauxhall.

Visually, the GTC Paris borrows much from the five-door Astra hatch design, although Mr Adams says the styling team aimed to maximise the “tension” of the vehicle.

The slim headlamps feature LED running lights, while the lines of the twin trapezoidal grilles and air intakes give the front a more dramatic and aggressive appearance than the current Astra.

The rear also combines the vehicle’s curves with angles for a muscular and cohesive design. LED tail lights are also fitted behind smokey red lenses.

The GTC Paris is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged and direct-injected petrol engine and is teamed with a six-speed manual transmission.

Stop/Start engine technology joins an electronic limited slip differential and an updated version of the FlexRide adaptive damping system on the GTC’s list of features.

Opel has promised to reveal more details about the GTC Paris Concept in the lead up to the Paris Motor Show.

Australia will watch the unveiling of the GTC Paris with added interest after reports last week suggested that Opel was considering entering the local market in its own right in a move unrelated to Holden.




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