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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Driving report: Opel Astra GSe: Top Blitz

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Opel is based on its own model history and is creating a new sub-brand for sporty vehicles with electrified drives with the GSe models.

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GSi or GS/E – the abbreviation for Grand Sport Injection was used on Opel models with particularly sporty engines from the 1970s and before the historic OPC era. With the Astra, for example, the range went from initially 125 to finally 136 hp, with the Kadett ten years earlier from 115 to 150 hp. Opel is now building on that. After treating the Insignia and the Corsa to GSi versions a few years ago, the Rüsselsheim-based company is now gradually crowning its model series with the electrified GSe models. Opel does not want the GSe to be understood simply as a model designation, but as a “sub-brand”.

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In addition to the SUV Grandland, the entry is now made by the Astra as a sedan and station wagon. Overall, the two plug-in Astras have a system output of 165 kW / 225 hp. The four-cylinder petrol engine with a displacement of 1.6 liters has an output of 133 kW / 180 hp, the electric motor has an output of 81.2 kW / 110 hp. The and the maximum torque of 360 Newton meters push the 1.7 ton five-door car forward. It takes 7.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill, and the top speed is 235 km/h. Purely electric driving ends at 135 km/h. The lithium-ion battery packs 12.4 kWh and thus ensures an official WLTP range of up to 64 kilometers. The battery is fully charged again in just under two hours at the quick charging station, and around seven hours at the household socket. Fuel consumption: 1.2 liters per 100 kilometers, which means CO2 emissions of 36 g/km.

The Astra GSe is correspondingly superior – whether in the 4.4 meter long sedan or in the station wagon with its 4.6 meters. The engine reacts immediately to every movement of the accelerator pedal, the eight-speed automatic transmission slips smoothly through the gears, the sporty steering is precise and not too easy. The change between electric motor and combustion engine is velvety smooth and hardly noticeable. Only when you fully depress the gas pedal does the petrol engine protest loudly.

The suspension comfort is also suitable for long-distance journeys: a little sporty and taut, but comfortable. Even on bad roads: nothing rumbles, nothing rumbles. The Astra GSe, which has been lowered by 10 mm, is agile and stays on track around corners thanks to the late intervention of ESP, and the tendency to roll is very limited. One reason for this is the special springs and oil pressure shock absorbers from KONI. They adjust their respective damping to the movement frequency of the vehicle.

From a purely visual point of view, the electrified GSe differs only slightly from the other Astra models. Different front bumper and rear diffuser, plus their own rims – that’s basically it. Inside, too, everything is the same as in the other Astra models: A slightly curved combination of digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen facing the driver, back-friendly, AGR-certified seats, 352 to 1,268 liters of space in the sedan’s luggage compartment. In the station wagon there are 516 to 1,553 liters.

The price for Opel’s Astra GSe as a sedan: 45,510 euros. The basic version of the Astra is available from 24,600 euros. And as a plug-in version without the GSe accolade and with 45 hp less power from 35,800 euros.

Source: Stern

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