Astra GSI set for 2011 launch

  • Vauxhall delays hot Astra to focus on new estate and coupe
  • Astra GSI set for 2011 launch, GTI-rivalling VXR to follow
  • Diesel engine expected, 0-60mph in 8 seconds with 50mpg

Vauxhall has delayed launching its flagship Astra GSI and is instead concentrating on the next-generation Astra Sport Tourer estate and a sporty coupe-like three-door Astra.

Both are expected to be unveiled this October at the Paris Motor Show and the GSI will follow on in early 2011.

The exact specification of the GSI has not been announced but insiders say it will feature a high-powered 170bhp version of the car's current 1.7-litre CDTI diesel, or possibly the 180bhp twin-turbo diesel 1.9-litre from the Saab 9-3. This should ensure the Astra GSI will sprint to 62mph in around 8.0 seconds, top out at almost 140mph yet average almost 50mpg. 

Later on an even more powerful 240+bhp VXR will follow as Vauxhall takes on the VW Golf GTI and the Ford Focus ST.