Two door handles and a roof aerial. These are the only bodywork items the GTC has in common with other members of the Vauxhall Astra family.
Like the Astra SportHatch before it, the GTC is targeting compact-coupé rivals rather than being a three-door version of the prolific Astra hatchback.
Therefore, Vauxhall wants to target user-choosers in the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupé, 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 Astra SportHatch was no stranger to the top of the sales tables for coupés.
About half of all Astra GTCs registered are expected to go to fleets, with the 2.0 CDTi SRi expected to be the best-selling derivative.
As well as extensive differences to the suspension set-up compared to other Astra models (the ride nheight is lower, the track wider and dampers similar to those used in the Insignia VXR), UK versions of the GTC have steering tuned specifically for our roads.
The engine line-up includes three diesel choices: a 1.7 CDTi with 110bhp or 130bhp, and the 165bhp 2.0 CDTi. Petrol versions include a 120bhp or 140bhp 1.4T and a 180bhp 1.6T, but only the 1.4-litre models have CO2 emissions below 160g/km (140g/km). All except the 1.6T are available with stop-start technology.
We spent the most time in the 2.0 CDTi (although the 1.4T felt surprisingly capable and has a strong set of figures for a petrol car), and it offers a genuinely engaging drive with sharp responses and buckets of pulling power in the mid range, with rapid acceleration available from above 1,500rpm.
While the ride is as firm as you might expect in a racy looking coupé, it’s not exceptionally harsh.