One result of the increasing electrification of the market is that more and more powerful versions of many cars are becoming hybrids and, more often, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). This is exactly the case with the Opel Astra and Grandland, which now have new GSe variants that place them at the top of their respective ranges in terms of dynamism and performance.
More than one remembers the initials GSE (with and capital letter) associated with iconic cars such as the Opel Commodore GS/E and Monza GSE. The car’s new electric era has a different meaning for those three letters, as what was once an abbreviation for Grand Sport Injection is now Grand Sport electric.
Better known than Opel’s GSEs were its GSi models, synonymous with high performance and fun-to-drive in the 1980s and 1990s. A few decades later, the Kadett, Manta, Astra and Corsa GSi (among others) were reincarnated into the new Astra, the Astra Sports. Tourer and Grandland GSe, in which the combustion engine – no doubt less exciting than it was – is connected to another small electric motor and battery to be able to go several tens of kilometers without fuel consumption or emissions.
Let’s start with the analysis of the drive system of Astra, which in its two bodies –hatchback And the family- has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 180 CV and an 81.2 kW electric motor that together puts out 225 CV. The 12.4 kWh battery allows you to travel 64 km without local emissions and reach 73 in urban use only. The five-door model accelerates to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and can reach, where possible and legal, 235 km/h, as well as 135 km/h in electric mode.
This GSe version sits above the 180 CV plug-in hybrid already available in the Astra, anchoring a variant of the same combustion engine that has been detuned to 150 CV and therefore has lower joint power.
In order to be more agile and precise during driving, the Astra GSe incorporates a 10 millimeter lower chassis. In addition, the steering, suspension and brakes respond more directly to any driver input. Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology provides different damping characteristics for precise handling and high comfort depending on the situation.
In the case of the Grandland GSe, the performance level is taken a step further with a combination of a 200bhp turbo petrol engine and two electric motors, one at each axle, the former providing 81.2kW and the latter 83kW. The result is 300 hp. Power with constant electric all-wheel drive.
Here, the step from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in just 6.1 seconds, and the top speed is the same as on the Astra. The 14.6 kWh lithium-ion battery makes it possible to travel 63 kilometers in electric mode, and up to 81 if the journey is made exclusively in the city.
In the Grandland range, the GSe variant sits one step above the plug-in hybrid normalWhich in its case has 225 CV as the most powerful Astra.
A full charge of the battery, at 7.4 kW, takes 1 hour and 55 minutes in the Astra GSe, and about 2 hours in the Grandland.
With its own powertrain and specific set-up, which we witnessed during a test drive on the roads of Malaga, the GSe naturally adds aesthetic details that identify them as models with a sporty appeal. 18-inch wheels on the Astra and 19 on the Grandland, inspired by the 100% electric Manta GSe wheels we’ve already talked about, as well as the signature front bumper and GSe rear diffuser.
Inside, the seats are also sporty, covered in Alcantara fabric and provide maximum lateral support for the driver and his passenger. These features are combined with a high level of spine comfort and ergonomics, which confirms the AGR seal awarded by the prestigious German association for a healthy back.
Both the Astra and the Grandland GSe show excellent handling on curvy roads, which is especially noticeable in the case of the latter, since it is an SUV. The specific tuning of the damping and steering shines compared to the less sporty versions of both models and allows it to drive with amazing speed even in the most difficult and tight sections, such as around the city of Ronda.
The prices of the most sporty five-door Astra and Grandland are already known: they start from 40,900 euros and 57,600 euros. Orders can be placed now, and the first deliveries will be made next spring. At the moment, it is only known that the Astra GSe with a family body will cost about 1,000 euros more than its equivalent. hatchback.
Source: El Diario