Opel’s iconic GSe badge makes a comeback – but now it’s all about electric power
German giant is ploughing ahead with its plans to become a fully-electrified car manufacturer by 2028
Opel Astra/Grandland GSe
This week I almost turned my watch back to the 1980s when I went Reeling in the Gears in two Opel ‘GSe’ models.
Those of you, like myself, who are old enough to remember, may recall the original GSe label — which was an abbreviation of Grand Sport Einspritzung (Grand Sport Injection) — that first appeared on the Opel Commodore GS/E and the Opel Monza GSE.
New for 2023, the Opel brand has decided to revive the iconic ‘GSe’ badge, albeit with an electric twist.
You see, the German giant is ploughing ahead with its plans to become a fully-electrified car manufacturer by 2028, when it will put its internal-combustion engines (ICE) out to pasture.
However, before that happens, Opel has launched a new range-topping sporty sub-brand, the GSe – which stands for Grand Sport electric.
First to roll off the production lines will be the Opel Grandland, Astra and Astra Sports Tourer — the latter arriving in Ireland later in the year.
This week we were treated to a first drive in both models and, believe me, they are impressive, if a little expensive for my liking.
Regular readers of this column will know that the Opel Astra was my personal Car of the Year in 2022. And, although the GSe range does take it to the next level, I cannot give the thumbs up to the price difference.
But, I’ll cover that aspect in greater detail when we get behind the wheel for a week-long test drive when it arrives in Ireland.
For now though, the Opel Astra GSe hatchback combines a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine (180bhp) with an electric motor that produces 110bhp.
Opel claim that by working in tandem, the combined fuel consumption should be around 1.2 l/100km.
The 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery is claimed to deliver up to 64km in all-electric mode, although realistically you are looking at closer to 50km under normal driving conditions.
The battery can be fully charged in around two hours at a 22kW wallbox.
Standard equipment for the range-topping Astra GSe in Ireland will include 18-inch alloy wheels, black Alcantara GSe trim, AGR certified seats, heated steering wheel and seats, front and rear park assist with 360-degree camera, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, lane keeping and change assist, autonomous emergency braking system to name but a few.
Meanwhile, Opel’s new flagship model — the Grandland GSe — combines a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine (200hp) with two electric motors, (110bhp) at the front axle and 113bhp at the rear to give all-wheel drive.
The 14.2kWh lithium-ion battery delivers up to a claimed 81km around the city but we will see how accurate that is at a later date.
Again, the battery can be fully charged in around two hours at a 22kW wallbox.
Standard equipment for the Grandland GSe includes 19-inch alloy wheels, the Opel black pack, to include a black bonnet, black Alcantara GSe trim, AGR certified seats, heated steering wheel and seats, satellite navigation, front, rear and lateral front park assist with 360-degree camera.
Other safety features include: side blind spot alert, night vision, lane keeping and change assist, enhanced traffic sign recognition, driver drowsiness alert and adaptive cruise control with stop and start.
The new Opel Astra plug-in electric hybrid GSe hatchback will retail from €52,695 plus delivery-related charges, whilst the Opel Grandland GSe AWD will retail from €59,995 plus delivery. Order books are now open for both models.
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