The GSi nameplate is a fond one of many Vauxhall fans. Last seen in the early 2000s, the GSi made a compelling choice between similarly equipped hot hatches for fun to drive turbocharged power, and affordability. It seems Vauxhall may be banking on that brand identity because Auto Express has just spotted a beefed up Astra, and it isn’t a VXR.
Currently, the Vauxhall Astra VXR sits atop the Astra range and serves as more a direct rival to the Ford Focus RS than anything. With an Astra GSi, Vauxhall can more effectively target the Focus ST variant, and not just storm in guns ‘a blazing with the VXR. The car spied featured buffed up alloy wheels and dual exhaust, fueling speculation for a return of the GSi nameplate.
The Astra GSi is estimated to produce around 253 hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but there’s talk of a diesel being added to create a comprehensive hot hatch portfolio for Vauxhall.
As we sit here writing this, we can’t help but wonder why GM hasn’t decided to cover this niche in the U.S. market. While its competitors scoop up young, generation Y buyers who are searching for an affordable, fun to drive small car, neither Chevrolet or Buick can match the pocket-rocket aura which surrounds the Focus ST, Volkswagen GTI and others.
We’ll keep wishing. In the meantime, check out the spy shots here.