Vauxhall Astra GTE
The Vauxhall Astra GTE was one of the overlooked Hot-Hatches during its time period.
The Vauxhall Astra GTE Mark 2 was available in estate, hatchback, saloon and cabriolet versions. The saloon was launched in January 1986 and sold as the Vauxhall Belmont. This then started a trend to brand saloon models independently. Hatchbacks were also used by other manufacturers in this time, including the Ford Orion and the Volkswagen Jetta.
Inside the interior of the car it featured an LCD dash display that had mixed opinion. While Vauxhall got rid of the Recaro seats to make their own and it had some success. The Inside said “great lateral support in fast cornering and considerable support on long, motorway runs”. Overall the early mark 2 GTE left a good impression “It had the makings of being the class star, with its adventurous styling, all-new interior and the commedable chassis/mechanicals of the the superseded GTE,” said CAR.
When this engine was originally released in Europe and the UK it developed 156 bhp and 150 ft lbs of torque in basic models. Later the GTE 16v was subjected to stricter emissions rules, so it was fitted with a catalytic converter and a new exhaust. That took away 6 bhp, and 5 ft lbs of torque from the engine, and added 0.5 of a second to the 0–60 mph time, from 7.0 seconds to 7.5 seconds.