Two door handles and a roof aerial are the only bodywork items the GTC has in common with other Vauxhall Astras.
Like the Astra SportHatch before it, the new GTC is targeting compact coupé rivals rather than being a three-door version of the prolific Astra hatchback.
Vauxhall wants to target Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupé drivers and even believes it could tempt some away from three door versions of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.
It might seem a tough task for a car with a volume badge, but the old Astra SportHatch was no stranger to the top of the coupés sales tables.
As well as extensive differences to the
suspension set-up compared to other Astra models, UK versions of the GTC have steering tuned specifically for our roads.
“We obviously test cars in many different countries, but the UK’s severely undulating and heavily cambered roads often reveal handling traits that would otherwise be hidden on smoother surfaced and more predictable continental roads,” said Gerry Baker, chief dynamicist at Vauxhall Engineering Centre, Millbrook.
The GTC has also been tuned for the worst rutted and broken surfaces, even with its optional 19- and 20-inch wheels (18-inch wheels are standard).
The engine line-up includes three diesel choices: a 1.7 CDTi with 110bhp or 130bhp outputs, as well as the 165bhp 2.0 CDTi.
Petrol versions include a 120bhp or 140bhp 1.4T and a 180bhp 1.6T, but only the former of these have CO2 emissions below 160g/km.
All but the 1.6T are available with stop/start technology.
While the ride is as firm as you might expect in a racy looking coupé, it’s not exceptionally harsh.
For those who believe they can feel the difference in electronic damping systems, FlexRide is available as an option and this has a ‘comfort’ setting.