Opel, having just announced that it was going to revive the classic GSe brand for electric and electrified models, has now shown off the first cars to get the resurrected badge.
The first GSe models out of the (electric) traps will be a matching pair of Astra GSes, in hatchback and estate forms. Opel says that the two cars will "offer the optimum balance between ride comfort and performance, combined with the option of emissions-free mobility."
Both hatchback and estate Astra GSe get the same plug-in hybrid system, based around a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Maximum power is 225hp, while maximum torque is pegged at 360Nm. In spite of their sporty natures, both models come with some pretty impressive economy and CO2 figures - as little as 1.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, with emissions as low as 25g/km.
10mm lower suspension
According to Opel, the GSe models have been made more sporty and more engaging to drive through a thoroughly old-fashioned modification - lower suspension. In fact, the Astra GSe will ride some 10mm lower to the ground than the standard model, while the steering has been given a GSe-specific retune.
GSs Astras will also get specific suspension, with unique springs and new oil-filled Koni dampers all round. Those dampers use Koni's FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology, which enables different damping characteristics at high frequencies (suspension control) versus low frequencies (body control). The Astra GSe will also get tweaked stability control, which has a higher threshold before it steps in to save you from yourself and your exuberance.
Inspired by the Manta
The Astra GSe will come with 18-inch alloy wheels inspired by the one-off Opel Manta GSe 'Elektromod' concept car's rims (an original 1960s Opel Manta coupe re-engineered with an electric powertrain - we've driven it, and you can read about it here). There's also a GSe body kit, which includes unique front and rear bumpers, and of course a GSe badge at the back.
Inside, you'll spot a GSe from its Alcantara suede sports front seats, which are unique to the model, and which come with approval from the AGR, the German association for bad backs.
Opel CEO, Florian Huettl said: "The new Opel Astra GSe and new Astra Sports Tourer GSe are the ideal cars for launching our dynamic new sub-brand, in full alignment with our strategy to become an all-electric brand by 2028."
The GSe badge originally appeared back in the 1970s, and stood for Grand Sport Einspritzung (or Grand Sport Injection). It was previously used on models such as the Opel Commodore GS/E and the Opel Monza GSE - examples of which you'll see in our image gallery accessible via the main image above.