Opel GSe. “A bit of sportiness with retained comfort”
argus discovered the Grandland and Astra GSe, the first models to receive the brand’s new sports label. An owner’s tour with Marc Fetzer, product manager at Opel.
Forget the Opel GSi, Opel’s new sports label is called GSe. A name that will surely bring back memories to those nostalgic for the brand since it was used in the 1970s and 1980s on the Commodore and Monza. But times have changed. While GSe stands for “Grand Sport Injection” (Grand Sport Einspritzung in German), it is now an acronym for “Grand Sport Electric”. “This is a new label that will first be launched in 2023 on the Astra in the five-door and station wagon, then on the Grandland. It is reserved for the most powerful electrified versions of the range”said Marc Fetzer, product manager at Opel.
A plug-in hybrid engine that develops from 225 to 300 hp
The launch of this GSe label will mark the arrival of a new 225 hp plug-in hybrid engine in the Opel Astra. Until then, the hybrid range was limited to 180 hp. The GSe version is the only one that will be able to take advantage of this new engine. Just like the Grandland, the 300 hp rechargeable hybrid engine is reserved for the GSe version.
Opel could have used the gang of organs of the Stellantis group to recover the 360 hp hybrid version of the DS7 E-Tense. But according to Marc Fetzer, it doesn’t make much sense. “This is a strategic decision. We have decided that the 300 hp version is sufficient as it already offers a good level of performance”.
The driving pleasure in the heart of all attention
The engineers did not limit themselves to the mechanical part, they also improved the handling. “Driving pleasure is an important element in the new GSe. There will be a real difference in the tire with the normal version”, commitment to the product manager. Thus, the Astra and Grandland GSe benefit from specific springs, recalibrated steering and wider wheels (225 mm on the SUV). The Astra even benefits from a chassis lowered by 10 mm to gain agility.
But there is no question of pushing the cursor to the extreme, the GSe label is not intended to replace the old Opel OPC sports cars. “We didn’t push the settings to the extreme. The idea of the GSe label was to have a bit of sportiness but maintained comfort. It clearly meets the needs of our customers », explains Marc Fetzer. To maintain comfort, the models have shock absorbers with FSD technology that offer a good balance between dynamism and comfort at normal speeds. The Astra also retains its ergonomic seats, certified by the AGR label.
A sportier look for the Opel GSe
On the appearance side, the Astra and Grandland GSe stand out from the other versions by a few body parts painted black (logo, lettering, shields) and rims (18 inch on Astra, 19 inch on Grandland) whose design is inspired by the Manta GSe concept revealed in 2021. Inside, the Astra has sports seats with integrated head restraints . The Alcantara upholstery with a central strip is also reminiscent of the Manta GSe concept.
Launch in the first quarter of 2023
The Opel Astra and Grandland GSe will be available to order early next year. They will find a place in the range above the “GS” versions. The GSe label will surely be extended to other models of the brand after that. We will have a chance to discuss this again The argument…