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Opel's sleek Astra GTC arrives

Arguably the best looking Opel of the modern era, the Opel Astra GTC has finally landed on South African shores.

We'll bring you our full driving impressions later in the week, but for now here's some quick facts.

The GTC still looks like an Astra, but it shares no sheet metal with the five-door.

You have two models to choose between, the 1.4T Enjoy at R287 000 and the 1.6T Sport that will set you back R304 000.

These are the same turbopetrol engines that you'll find in the five-door hatch, the 1.4-litre pushing out 103kW at 4900rpm and 200Nm from 1850rpm and the 1.6-litre credited with 132kW at 5500rpm and 230Nm from 2200rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed manual tranny.

What you won't find in the five-door Astra is Opel's HiPerStrut front suspension system, which reduces the kingpin inclination angle by 44 percent and shortens the spindle length by 46 percent to improve ride, handling and steering responsiveness. Most importantly, it also reduces torque steer.

Although it's still recognisable as an Astra, this three-door Astra is also set apart from its more practical sibling by completely different sheet metal - in fact only the rear view mirror surrounds and radio antenna are shared.

The GTC is also wider and sits as much as 15mm lower to the ground and its large wheelarches can house rims of up to 20 inches in diameter.

Would you take this over a Volkswagen Scirocco?

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