Vauxhall Astra GSi set to rival Focus ST before full-on Astra VXR arrives

Vauxhall could well dig into its back catalogue of names again for the new hot Astra five-door. The car spied testing above, sporting twin exhausts and beefier alloys, hints at a model sitting somewhere between a new 197bhp 1.6-litre SRi version and a full-blown VXR – and it could be the car to revive the legendary Vauxhall Astra GSi badge. 

Expected to offer around 250bhp, it would put the GSi up against Ford’s Focus ST, leaving the way clear for a mega VXR to face off against the new Ford Focus RS.

Read more on the new 2015 Vauxhall Astra

However, Vauxhall is likely to stick with its three-door-only policy for the Astra VXR, meaning we’ll have to wait for the Astra GTC replacement before we see a VXR version of the new 2015 Astra, and that’s a couple of years away.

Vauxhall has the option of GM’s new 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines to call on for a new GSi model, with the possibility of both being offered in hatch and estate bodystyles to create a comprehensive Astra GSi hot hatch range.

Our recent drive in a prototype version of the new Vauxhall Astra hatchback revealed an impressive ride and handling package apparently ripe for exploitation by future higher performance versions. The GSi and VXR brands could eventually be rolled out to other Vauxhall products mirroring the hot hatch range structure Ford has with its ST and RS models.

Check out our top 10 list of the best hot hatchbacks on sale now…

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