The Opel Astra GTC, the eye-catching act of the GM Europe brand's new Australian range, is priced from $28,990.
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The GTC is a sportier, three-door coupe/hatch version of the popular small car that returns to the local market for the first time since 2009.

At 4466mm the Opel Astra GTC is 47mm longer than the five-door Astra hatch, and it's also 7mm wider but 21mm lower for a sportier stance. The wheelbase is also stretched by 10mm in comparison.

As the sporty variant of the Astra range it ignores the 2.0-litre turbo diesel offered elsewhere to focus on the two turbo petrol engines that are 1.4 and 1.6 litres in size.

The 1.4-litre produces 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque and sits under the bonnet of the base Opel Astra GTC. Its price increases to $30,990 if opting for the six-speed auto rather than six-speed manual.

The range-topping Sport costs $34,990 before on-road charges are added. It is offered with just a single drivetrain: the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 132kW (at 5500rpm) and 230Nm (at 2200rpm), linked to a six-speed manual.

The Opel Astra GTC Sport is the fastest in the entire Astra range, with a 0-100km/h claim of 8.3 seconds. (The Opel Astra OPC hot-hatch is tipped to come to Australia, though.)

The 1.4-litre trails 1.6 seconds behind (9.9sec) in manual form, or a full two seconds slower (10.3sec) with the auto.

The Opel Astra GTC starts $5000 higher than the corresponding Astra five-door hatch but comes loaded with significantly more features.

Standard gear includes 18-inch alloy wheels, lowered/sports-tuned suspension, foglights, rear roof spoiler, sports seats, cloth/leatherette upholstery, cruise control, sports steering wheel, trip computer, front and rear parking sensors, CD audio with USB/MP3/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.

Upgrades for the Opel Astra GTC Sport include 19-inch alloys, electric parking brake, hill-start assist, sports bodykit, LED tail-lights, ergonomically certified driver’s seat, leather trim, heated front seats, front and rear armrests, ski port, dual-zone climate control, OPC (Opel Performance Centre) steering wheel and gearlever design, auto-dimming rear view mirror, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, alloy sports pedals and premium audio and satellite navigation with 7-inch colour screen.

The Sport model also has exclusive options: adaptive dampers for $2000, 20-inch alloys for $1000, and a premium lighting package that costs $2000 and includes bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights and multi-function lighting.

The base Opel Astra GTC can be spruced up with a leather upholstery and navigation package, for $2500 and $1250 respectively.

Opel cements the GTC’s positioning as the sportiest Astra with a so-called HiPerStrut that the company says enhances the model’s dynamic characteristics by improving cornering grip and reducing torque steer – the wheel-tugging effect that can be a symptom of powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Opel Astra GTC
Price: from $28,990
Body style: 3dr hatch
Engine: 1.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo
Power: 103kW at 4900-6000rpm
Torque: 200Nm at 1850-4900rpm (220Nm with overboost)
Transmission: 6-spd manual (or 6-spd auto)
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds (10.3sec)
Fuel consumption: 6.0L/100km (6.9L/100km)
CO2 emissions: 142g/km (162g/km)

Opel Astra GTC Sport
Price: from $34,990
Body style: 3dr hatch
Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo
Power: 132kW at 5500rpm
Torque: 230Nm at 2200rpm
Transmission: 6-spd manual
0-100km/h: 8.3 seconds
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
CO2 emissions: 171g/km