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221-hp Opel Astra GSe is first model in electrified performance range

Opel on Wednesday launched the Astra GSe as the first model in a new range of electrified performance cars.

The range will be sold under the GSe sub-brand, the designation taken from the GSE badge that featured on performance-oriented versions of Opel’s Commodore and Monza in the 1970s and ’80s. Back then the E signified “einspritzung,” the German word for “injection,” but today it stands for “electrified performance.”

The Astra GSe is a plug-in hybrid, with its powertrain consisting of a 1.6-liter turbo-4 and electric motor combo generating a peak 221 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. A 12.4-kwh battery makes a small electric range possible.

The same powertrain features in the regular Astra, but the GSe combines it with a sport-tuned chassis. Key modifications to the chassis include new springs, Koni adjustable dampers, a 10-mm lower ride, 18-inch light alloys, and recalibrated steering and electronic stability control systems.

The GSe treatment also adds some visual models. In addition to the new wheels, the Astra GSe also sports a new front fascia. Inside, there are sport seats up front lined in Alcantara.

The Astra GSe can be ordered as both the regular hatch and Sports Tourer wagon.

Sales in markets where Opel operates start later this year.

“The new Astra GSe and new Astra Sports Tourer GSe are the ideal cars for launching our dynamic new sub-brand, in full alignment with our strategy to become an all-electric brand by 2028,” Florian Huettl, Opel’s CEO, said in a statement.

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