Following Vauxhall/Opel’s announcement that it will revive the GSe marque as a new sub-brand for electrified vehicles, the first new GSe models have now been revealed. The Stellantis subsidiary unveiled the Astra GSe five-door hatchback and the Astra Sports Tourer estate – a pair of plug-in hybrids. While each model appeals to a different consumer base, both aim to strike a balance between comfort, performance-oriented handling, and sustainability.

While utilizing the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and 12.4kWh battery featured in the standard Astra plug-in hybrid, the GSe versions will provide an increased maximum power output of 225 hp (165 kW) and 265 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque. Further upgrades in steering, suspension, and braking work to enhance driver engagement – responding immediately and more predictably to their input. In developing the performance-oriented handling capabilities featured on the new models, Vauxhall/Opel developed a new chassis that is lowered by 10 millimetres. This dedicated system will allow the vehicle to benefit from heightened stability during cornering, under braking, and when driving at high speeds.

In underlining the new sub-brand’s sporty qualities, Vauxhall/Opel specially tuned the springs and oil-filled dampers of the front and rear suspension for dynamic driving and comfort. The dampers, for example, feature Frequency Selective Damping technology from KONI, allowing different damping characteristics at high and low frequencies. Likewise, the ESP settings on both models see the activation threshold adjusted upward, matching the dynamic driving behaviour. Both of these configurations are exclusive to GSe models.

Previously an abbreviation of Grand Sport Einspritzung (translating to Grand Sport Injection), the GSe label now stands for ‘Grand Sport electric’ to reflect its new purpose as an electrified vehicle brand. For Vauxhall/Opel, the revival represents a key step towards its goal to become EV-only in Europe before 2028. Orders for the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe will open later this year, ahead of an early 2023 launch. The pricing structure for both models has yet to be revealed.