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Could the Vauxhall GT Coupe rival the Audi TT?

By raccars Published

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The Audi TT-rivalling Vauxhall GT coupe hasn't yet been given the green light for production but the firm is already planning to show it at the Geneva Motor Show.

Vauxhall GT to get a big reveal in Geneva

Rumours started circulating back in October and Vauxhall has now released a rather obscure video to provoke curiosity about the coupe concept, which would take on the likes of the Peugeot RCZ and the Audi TT, and has promised a further glimpse for 21 January. Full information will be released just prior to Geneva, which will be an important event as it is believed that Vauxhall will use public response to the concept at the show to finally decide whether there is a commercial case to proceed to production.

Vauxhall is keen to take on Ford as the UK's leading manufacturer but in today's risk averse business climate, the company won't embrace the huge expense and commitment of a new model development without solid public demand.

The GT is inspired by earlier Vauxhall coupe concepts, starting with the Opel GT Experimental from 1965. The Opel GT was made from 1968-1973 and was a highly successful model of a similar size. The forthcoming concept is said to be based upon the latest generation Vauxhall Astra, using lightweight construction techniques. It is believed to have a front wheel drive layout and a turbocharged engine range including both petrol and diesel options, again expected to be sourced from the Astra. It is likely to use a six speed manual transmission as standard with the option of the frugal Easytronic automatic as an alternative.

A coupe history

Vauxhall has produced some fine coupes in the past but the brand's model line-up has lacked a decent contender since the demise of the #Vauxhall Calibra in 1998. An attempt was made to fill the coupe gap with the Monaro back in 2004, but it sank without a trace only two years later. Since then the only choice for Vauxhall fans looking for a coupe has been the GTC variant of the Astra; a smart little car but in essence a hatchback rather than a true coupe.

A couple of years ago the company introduced the Monza four seat coupe concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the design of which should give us some clues about the direction being taken with the new GT. Expect a smaller but equally sleek silhouette with prominent air vents giving away the turbocharged engine underneath the bonnet and some LED headlamps.

While not necessarily a purebred sports car, the GT will probably convey an athletic look with a rakish windscreen angle, muscular shoulders and a truncated rear end. However a range-topping 300bhp model is expected to fill the role of an alternative to the VW Scirocco R. The cabin will no doubt be distinguished by Vauxhall's recent efforts to demonstrate premium ambitions, using the new Astra dashboard and offering plenty of modern tech including Wi-Fi connectivity.

Undercutting the competition

Should it make it into production, the GT could form an important part of Vauxhall's revitalised model range. Vauxhall's European equivalent, Opel, is certainly in need of an image boost which the GT could provide. A new Insignia is also due, plus a large SUV type vehicle, both of which might follow a similar design language.

With a strong push, Vauxhall could have the GT ready for the road by 2017 in standard format, with a convertible version the following year. Vauxhall is expected to price the GT competitively, starting off at about £22,000 to make sure it offers a tempting alternative to competitive models from Audi and VW.

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