Vauxhall will unveil the Astra High Performance Concept (HPC) at the Paris Motor Show later this week.
Set to be unveiled alongside the new Sport Hatch and the glass-roofed Panorama, the HPC gives a taster of the performance version of the Astra, due in the UK next summer.
With 240bhp and 228lb/ft of torque from a 2.0-litre turbo engine, the Astra is said to have a top speed of around 150mph and a 0-60mph time of less than 6.5 seconds.
Using a modified version of the 2-litre turbo engine from the VXR220 roadster, the HPC’s engine output is increased by modifications to the intake and exhaust systems. To handle the power, the car uses the IDSPlus electronic chassis control and a six-speed manual gearbox outputting to 19-inch wheels.
The HPC also features a wider and lower air intake, a new honeycomb grille and deeper front spoiler. Extended side sills, profiled towards the rear, lead to a sculpted rear bumper that incorporates a supercar-style diffuser. This directs airflow and, along with a new roof spoiler, keeps the Astra planted on the ground at high speed.
The interior features Recaro seats and leather trim details colour-matched to the exterior paint. New instruments and a piano-black finish to the centre console also differentiate the HPC from other Astras in the range.
It’s expected the Astra VXR will hit British showrooms next summer, but for hot hatch fans who can’t wait that long, Vauxhall has just introduced a new Astra 5-door SRi powered by a 200bhp version of the HPC’s 2-litre turbo engine. Available now priced at £18,145, the SRi features an exterior styling pack and 18-inch wheels.