Vauxhall GSe is a nod to the GSi performance sub-brand which has been around for several decades. Starting off with cars like the Vauxhall Astra and Nova GSi, it offered tweaked versions of Vauxhall’s regular models like the Astra and Nova.
Body kits and tuned engines set these models aside, and GSi models were a smash hit with so-called boy racers of the 1990s and ’00s.
GSe is a more grown-up, responsible version of this and it pertains specifically to Vauxhall’s electrified models. It stands for ‘Grand Sport electric’ and will bring “sports handling and looks combined with the performance and responsibility of electrified powertrains”, according to Acting MD, James Taylor.
The first two cars to get the GSe makeover are the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe. Compared to the standard models, these PHEVs will get a 10mm lower ride height thanks to a unique suspensions setup and dedicated chassis tuning. Vauxhall is promising better stability during cornering, under braking and at high speed.
Revised steering, which will offer more precision and agility, as well as recalibrated stability control complete the package.
Under the bonnets of both the Astra GSe and its Sports Tourer stablemate is the brand’s higher powered PHEV powertrain which can be found in the standard car. This means a considerable 221bhp thanks to the combination of a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine and a 108bhp electric motor. Zero to 62mph takes 7.7 seconds and the GSe cars will go on to a top speed of 146mph, but also be capable of up to 35 miles of emissions-free driving thanks to a 12.4kWh battery.
On the styling front, the Vauxhall Astra GSe variants will gain new 18 inch, lightweight alloys which were inspired by the Manta GSe Concept. A new front bumper and fascia, along with the GSe emblem on the tailgate, ensure nobody is left in any doubt of the car’s pedigree. Inside are Alcantara-trimmed front sports seats, whilst further specs will be confirmed for the UK in due course.
Orders will be open for the Astra GSe and Astra Sports Tourer GSe later this year, with deliveries starting in early 2023.
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