The order books are now open for Vauxhall’s new Astra GSe and Grandland GSe models, with prices starting from £40,550 for Astra GSe models. The first customer deliveries are expected early this summer.
GSe stands for Grand Sport Electric and is the new performance sub-brand from Vauxhall which integrates electric performance with sharp handling and styling, and each of the new GSe models come with some unique styling upgrades, both on the inside and on the cars’ exterior. They are also fitted with uprated electrified drivetrains and improved handling which can be attributed to suspension and steering upgrades.
Both Astra GSe and the Astra Sports Tourer GSe have a 10mm lower profile thanks to revised suspension and damping and are fitted with 18-inch ‘Commodore’ wheels giving them a distinct stance on the road. Inside the cabin, you sit in comfortable Alcantara®-trimmed performance front seats which have been certified by Germany’s AGR (‘Aktion Gesunder Rücken’ or ‘Campaign for Healthier Backs’). There is also a GSe-specific leather steering wheel.
The suspension on the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe models has been improved with 11 percent stiffer springs and Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) technology by suspension specialists KONI, giving the cars a superior ride and better handling. You will also find that there is a much sportier feel from the steering, as it has been recalibrated to deliver a 9 percent faster response time, and the electronic stability control (ESC) has been set to engage slightly later.
An Intelli-Drive technology with Forward Collision Alert and Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection is fitted as standard to the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe models. There is also a very useful Drowsiness Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Traffic Sign Assistant, Cross Traffic and Side Blind Spot alert and Automatic Speed Assistant with Stop Function.
When it comes to performance, the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe have an upgraded Plug-in Hybrid powertrain seen on the conventional model range, powered by a 180PS 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, connected to an 81.2kW (110PS) electric motor giving an impressive total power output of 225PS and maximum torque of 360Nm.
The Astra GSe models are fitted with a 12.4kWh battery, which will give up to 40 miles of electric range, while Astra Sports Tourers have a 39-mile range.
With its all-wheel drive, thanks to the combination of a 200PS 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, the Grandland GSe is Vauxhall’s most powerful model with a 300PS output, fitted with an 81.2kW (110PS) motor at the front and an 83kW (113PS) motor at the rear axle.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, member of The Guild of Motoring Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Vauxhall