Vauxhall Astra GTC to premiere at Goodwood Festival
Vauxhall’s new Astra GTC will make a surprise debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, more than two months ahead of its official world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The announcement comes on the back of today’s news that the GTC’s order books are now open for UK customers with full pricing and specs available for the car, which was first previewed as the GTC Paris Concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show.
Goodwood show-goers will get to see the GTC travelling up the Festival’s hillclimb track twice a day throughout the event between Friday, July 1 and Sunday, July 3, driven by Vauxhall’s chief chassis engineer. The GTC has a heavily revised chassis and a sleek, all-new body designed by Brit, Mark Adams. It’s also the latest successor in a long line of sporting Vauxhall three-door coupes, including the Astra GTE, the Firenza and the Chevette 2300HS. When it’s not on the track, the GTC will be on show in the Cathedral Paddock.
Vauxhall will also be giving visitors to Goodwood a vision of the future – as well as the not too distant future. Next year’s hotly awaited Ampera E-REV – the first Extended-Range Electric Vehicle to go on sale in the UK - will be in the FoS Tech Pavilion and giving demonstration drives on the hill. In one fell swoop, the Ampera is set to offer green-conscious customers the potential of zero tailpipe emissions, combined with a range of up to 350 miles, eliminating completely the issue of ‘range anxiety’ suffered by drivers of conventional EVs.
Joining the Ampera in FoS Tech will be GM’s EN-V (Electric Networked Vehicle) which will make its European driving debut at the Festival. Representing GM’s leading market in Europe, Vauxhall is showcasing the EN-V as a vision of what urban vehicles may look like in 2030. The 1.5 metre-long EN-V – which runs on just two wheels - has a raft of clever technologies, such as collision avoidance and the ability to run in convoy with other EN-Vs. Its lithium-ion phosphate battery offers zero emissions, a 25-mile range and a 25mph top speed.
From a 2011 vision of the future to one from the Sixties, Vauxhall’s forward-thinking XVR concept is entered in this year’s Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’, one of the Festival’s highlights. Originally shown at the 1966 Geneva Salon, where it showcased the company’s design talent, visitors to the Style et Luxe Arena can admire the XVR’s flowing lines, and its unique gullwing-style doors and windscreen.
But Vauxhall hasn’t forgotten what’s at the heart of the Festival: Power. Making its first public appearance for many years is the manic Astra 4-S rally car, built to compete in the 1985 Group ‘S’ rally class. Featuring a supercharged 325hp Ascona 400 engine and X-Trac four-wheel drive, the car was only used in one event, where it finished second. Visitors should have their ear-plugs ready when it makes its demonstration runs on the hill!