RAY MASSEY: Vauxhall’s electrifying new sub-range kicks off with Astras

Posted on September 30, 2022Comments Off on RAY MASSEY: Vauxhall’s electrifying new sub-range kicks off with Astras

Vauxhall has launched an electrifying new sub-range — with a pair of Astras as its first incarnation. A new hot hatchback and sports tourer estate are petrol-electric plug-in hybrids (PHEV), whose names are followed by GSe — short for ‘Grand Sport Electric’. 

They are powered by a turbo-charged 1.6litre 4-cylinder engine linked to an electric motor and battery which together create 225hp. 

Orders open this year with deliveries in 2023, and prices from about £40,000. 

Athletic looks: Vauxhall¿s Grand Sport Electric (GSe) sports tourer estate hybrid

Athletic looks: Vauxhall’s Grand Sport Electric (GSe) sports tourer estate hybrid

Fully electric GSe versions will follow as Vauxhall is committed to being an electric-only brand by 2028. 

With athletic looks, the pair of new PHEVs have a 10mm lower ride-height, revised steering and electronic stability control (ESC) calibrations that deliver superior stability during cornering, under braking and at higher speed, and complement the higher performance and more agile handling characteristics. 

Steering has been calibrated for a sportier feel, while the unique springs and oil-filled dampers of the front and rear suspension are tuned for both dynamic driving and comfort. 

Orders open this year with deliveries in 2023, and prices from about £40,000

Orders open this year with deliveries in 2023, and prices from about £40,000

Steering has been calibrated for a sportier feel, while the unique springs and oil-filled dampers of the front and rear suspension are tuned for both dynamic driving and comfort

Steering has been calibrated for a sportier feel, while the unique springs and oil-filled dampers of the front and rear suspension are tuned for both dynamic driving and comfort

Fully electric GSe versions will follow as Vauxhall is committed to being an electric-only brand by 2028

Fully electric GSe versions will follow as Vauxhall is committed to being an electric-only brand by 2028

With athletic looks, the pair of new PHEVs have a 10mm lower ride-height, revised steering and electronic stability control calibrations

With athletic looks, the pair of new PHEVs have a 10mm lower ride-height, revised steering and electronic stability control calibrations

Vauxhall said they match the best in their respective classes for launch from standstill, acceleration, top speed, driving pleasure and lower emissions

Vauxhall said they match the best in their respective classes for launch from standstill, acceleration, top speed, driving pleasure and lower emissions

They are powered by a turbo-charged 1.6litre 4-cylinder engine linked to an electric motor and battery which together create 225hp

They are powered by a turbo-charged 1.6litre 4-cylinder engine linked to an electric motor and battery which together create 225hp

The design is boldly blinged, with 18in alloy wheels inspired by the Manta GSe concept, along with bespoke Alcantara front sports seats certified by Germany’s AGR Campaign for Healthier Backs and a GSe emblem on the tailgate. 

Vauxhall said they match the best in their respective classes for launch from standstill, acceleration, top speed, driving pleasure and lower emissions. 

Vauxhall MD James Taylor said: ‘They 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.’ 

Prices for the Astra range start at £24,665 for the petrol 110hp Design hatchback, with the Sports Tourer equivalent starting from £25,865.

The Hatch GS Line 180hp PHEV costs from £33,000.

Nissan’s Sunderland production passes 5m mark

Qashqai and Juke SUV production at Nissan’s Sunderland factory has passed the five million mark — just as new electrified versions of crossover models are rolling off the lines. 

Landmark: The new Qashqai e-Power and Juke hybrids are going into production alongside the all-electric Leaf

Landmark: The new Qashqai e-Power and Juke hybrids are going into production alongside the all-electric Leaf

The new Qashqai e-Power and Juke hybrids are going into production alongside the all-electric Leaf. 

The pair is part of a £500million investment by Nissan, which includes a new £10million assembly facility making the cars’ battery packs. 

Electric car leasing in fast lane

The number of motorists seeking to lease an electric car has risen nearly 17-fold in just four years, says comparison website Leasing.com.

 A fifth of total new car leasing demand in the first six months of 2022 was for battery electric vehicles compared with just 1.2per cent of all lease inquiries during the whole of 2018. 

The average price of the electric cars sought was £43,142. 

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