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Vauxhall reveals its line up for 2010 Paris motor show

Wed, 04 Aug 2010

The 2010 Mondial de l’Automobile – aka Paris motor show 2010 – is set to be the launchbed for a bevy of new models from the Vauxhall stable. The Paris show will see Vauxhall launch a three-door Astra GTC Paris concept car (the main news, but sadly no photos available yet), plus a clutch of other spin-offs.

There are new Meriva diesels, an Astra estate and the latest evolution of Ampera electric vehicle.

The three-door Vauxhall Astra GTC Paris concept car

Strangely for the launch of a concept car, Vauxhall has provided no real information or photographs of the GTC Paris. Such is the mindset at GM Europe these days, the brief confirmation statement claims that the GTC Paris is inspired by the line ‘and the speed was pure beauty’ from the novel, Jonathon Livingston Seagull. Emotive stuff. This theme continues inside with the phrase being laser etched into the front seats.

As far as the shape of the car goes, we are largely in the dark. However, it is said to don dramatic proportions and sculptural shapes that show the GTC Paris as an expressive, sporty compact hatch

Happily, CAR has already scooped the three-door Astra GTC and we've handily reproduced our spy shot of the Astra coupé above. What will be shown at Paris is a very-near production version of the car, which will go on sale in early 2012.

Vauxhall Ampera: the latest news

Vauxhall will also unveil the latest evolution of the already much-hyped Ampera ‘extended range’ electric vehicle that is set to go on sale in 2012. The latest Ampera, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Honda FCX Clarity, boasts an impressive range of 350 miles.

This is due, in part, to the petrol driven generator on board that provides electricity to the drive unit, whilst also maintains battery charge for use around town. The GM Voltec system helps eliminate ‘range anxiety’ for those who feel they cannot conquer the world 40 miles at a time.

With 273 lb ft of torque and the equivalent of around 148bhp being delivered, the 0-60 dash is dispatched in around 9.0 seconds. Combined with a healthy load capacity and seating for four, it helps establish the Ampera as a genuinely well rounded car.

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is here

Moving away from future fiction to gritty here-and-now, it would seem Vauxhall is keen to push the ‘Britishness’ of the expanding Astra range. The new Sports Tourer was penned by British chief European designer Mark Adams’ design team and is set to be built solely at Ellesmere Port after being engineered largely at GM's facility in Bedfordshire, UK.

Set to arrive in showrooms in October 2010, the Astra estate boasts most things you’d expect from an estate: large (500-litre) boot capacity, one-touch split folding rear seats and cargo cover as well as more cubby holes than you can ever possibly find use for. The new Astra wagon also boasts the full range of tried and tested hatchback engines as well as featuring driving dynamics optimised for British roads.

Last and definitely least: some Meriva and Corsa news

Also starring on the stand in Paris, although in more of a supporting role, are the latest new Meriva diesel models, which complete the engine line-up for Vauxhall's small MPV. The two new diesels comprise a 1.3 CDTi which places an emphasis on low CO2 and high economy, whilst a second 1.7 CDTi offers frugality with a little added oomph, in the form of 221 lb ft of torque mated to a six-speed gearbox.

Finally, rounding off Vauxhall's new model assault is a Corsa, showcasing stop/start technology as a sign of the brand's commitment to lowering its CO2 emissions.

By John O'Brien