Opel Astra GSe (Preview 2023)
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Late last year Dave O’C and I joined Opel Ireland for the launch of the all-new sixth generation Astra where we got to experience both petrol and diesel variants of this good looking hatchback. To watch our most recent YouTube video review please click here or indeed to read my detailed review simply click here. Since then, the Opel Astra has been extremely well received in Ireland and even went on to claim Irish Compact Car of the Year 2023 at the Irish Car of the Year awards in association with Continental Tyres. In this article we are taking a look to the future of the Astra and in particular the inbound GSe. Yes, you read that right, the GSe badge is making a comeback on the rear of an Astra and this time they will be plug-in hybrids designed with performance in mind. They will be available in hatchback and Sports Tourer guise in 2023 and this news is set to excite many long term Opel fans who recall the days of the Monza, Kadett or indeed Astra GSe. On the cars of old the badge actually translated from "Grand Sport Einspritzung" (Grand Sport Injection) to what Opel now refer to as "Grand Sport electric" which ultimately signifies Opel's new top-of-the-range, sporty sub-brand.
So what’s actually different before we get to power-train options? Well at this point we know the new-generation Opel Astra is a good looking car but with the signature styling cues of the GSe, it gets that little bit more aggressive. From the outside, the design of the 18-inch light-alloy wheels has been heavily inspired by the stunning all-electric Manta GSe concept that we seen last year. A new front bumper and fascia lead you to believe there is something different about this particular car and to the rear you get the famous GSe emblem on the tailgate. Inside its gets a performance feel with the Alcantara-trimmed sports front seats, steering wheel, door cards and the GSe badge once again.
The whole car sits about 10mm lower on the road also and this isn’t just a spring height adjustment but more a GSe specific set up featuring KONI FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology, which enables different damping characteristics at high frequencies (suspension control) versus low frequencies (body control). The ESP settings have also been reworked and are exclusive to GSe models to give you more feedback under spirited driving. Both the steering and brakes have also been fettled with to offer more feel and bite!
The plug in hybrid GSe Astras will have a 1.6 Direct Injection petrol engine with electric power from a 13.2 kwh battery producing 225hp and maximum torque of 360 Newton metres (WLTP combined fuel consumption: 1.1 – 1.2 l / 100 km, CO2 emissions 25-26 g / km; preliminary values) Opel have started the Astra GSe will match any of their competitors in their respective classes for launch from a standstill, acceleration, and top speed! Details on a full electric GSe will follow!
The Opel Astra’s safety shell incorporates the latest automated driver assistance packages available with petrol, diesel or hybrid power-trains. Along with a gaggle of airbags and a multi-function camera in the windscreen, a further four body cameras to the nose, tail and each side along with five radar sensors and ultrasonic sensors front and rear come together to keep occupants safe. This enables the system to adapt speed in bends, make speed recommendations and perform semi-automatic lane changes. Hands-off detection, rear cross-traffic alert, long-range blind-spot detection, active lane positioning, adaptive cruise control, Stop & Go are all features available on the GSe.
Opel have various PCP and Finance offers available now throughout their dealer network along with personal leasing opportunities but we have yet to receive confirmation on a price for the GSe. If you take entry into Astra ownership starts with the SC trim priced at €27,995 plus delivery with the top of the range Elite trim level priced at €34,995 we would estimate a price point north of €40k.
For us, as true ‘car guys’ here in DoneDeal, we do get excited by a badge! As this is a preview piece, we have yet to drive the GSe but anticipation is running high as we await its arrival. Could this be the last Opel to use the GSe badge that has some form of combustion engine? Well it certainly looks that way if the comment below from Opel CEO, Florian Huettl is anything to go by:
“The new Opel Astra GSe and new Astra Sports Tourer GSe are the ideal cars for launching our dynamic new sub-brand, in full alignment with our strategy to become an all-electric brand by 2028.”
Lets embrace these remaining years of combustion power albeit heavily assisted by electricity and hope the GSe delivers a smile and not just a badge.
To check out Opel stock on DoneDeal, click here.
To watch our full video review on YouTube please click here.
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