Here is another hot hatch to appeal to your democratic sensibility - stylish, practical, affordable and fun.

Opel has introduced the Astra GTC in its 3-door hatch body-style with four engine variants available to start with.

But first comes the chassis, which in this GTC differs from the standard 5-door Astra model.

For improved handling, the ride height is lowered by 15 mm and wheelbase is stretched by 10 mm to 2,695 mm. The front and rear tracks are also wider compared with the standard model with 40 extra mm at the front and 30 mm for the rear. The front axle of the GTC also gets a unique HiPerStrut suspension.

Four powertrains will be on offer initially, starting with two variants of the 1.4 liter turbo which comes with outputs of 88 kW/120 PS (119 bhp) and 103 kW/140 PS (138 bhp), both with 200 Nm (147 lb-ft) of torque.

Next up is a 1.6 liter turbo with 132 kW/180 PS (177 bhp).

A 2.0 liter diesel unit is also available with the CDTI engine delivering 121 kW/165 PS (163 bhp) and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque.

All engine variants come standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

More engine options will become available later in the model's cycle, including a range-topping OPC performance edition with an expected 2.0 liter turbo dialed up to around the 290 PS (213 kW / 286 bhp) mark.

A range of seven wheel options, 17- to 20-inches, are also offered on the GTC with six designs being GTC-only rims.

"We wanted the Astra GTC to be the ultimate expression of Opel's design language ‘sculptural artistry meets German precision' and to embody our passion for the automobile," said Opel/Vauxhall Design VP Mark Adams in the Opel release.

The Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC is available for order as of today (June 7, 2011). Prices in Germany/U.K. start at €21,750/£18,495 for the 1.4 Turbo with 88 kW/120 PS and €27,855/£21,165 for the Astra GTC Sport 2.0 CDTI with 121 kW/165 PS.

The Opel Astra GTC will have its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

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