Vauxhall/Opel’s Electric Brand Launches with ICE PHEV

Vauxhall/Opel has officially unveiled its electrified sub-brand the GSe’s first model as a compact Astra in hatchback and estate versions.

However, while the brand name GSe stands for Grand Sport Electric, its first models will not yet be full BEVs and the Astra GSe and the Astra Sports Tourer GSe will feature the automaker’s plug-in hybrid powertrains. With a system power output of 221bhp and maximum torque of 265ft-lbs, the models claim WLTP combined fuel consumption of 235.4mpg (196mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 25 g/km.

Vauxhall/Opel says it has achieved performance-oriented handling characteristics by equipping the Astra GSe models with a dedicated chassis that is 10mm (0.39-ins) lower than before to improve stability during cornering, under braking and at higher speed. A unique GSe suspension set-up, as well as unique steering calibration, also aids handling characteristics.

James Taylor, acting managing director, Vauxhall, said: “Available with plug-in hybrid powertrains from launch, the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe are the ideal cars for launching our dynamic new sub-brand, offering sporty styling, enhanced driving performance and all the benefits of an electrified powertrain. As we work towards becoming an all-electric brand by 2028, our range-topping GSe models will showcase that electrified performance and driving pleasure can go hand-in-hand.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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