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Mike Stevens | Sep 24, 2010

With German carmaker Opel reportedly planning to bring its thunderbolt badge to the Australian market, its movements in Europe have shifted from being a matter of general interest to offering crucial hints at what options might lay ahead for local buyers.

Following its online preview earlier this month, Opel has today revealed more images and details for its GTC Paris Concept - destined for a public unveiling at this month's Paris Auto Show.

Based on the 2010 Opel Astra, the seemingly production-ready GTC Paris Concept is likely to hit the European market as a three-door variant to the popular five-door hatch.

The styling of the GTC Paris Concept is largely guided by its five-door sibling, with sportier touches including more performance-oriented front and rear bumpers and a coupe-like roofline strongly reminiscent of the three-door variant of the previous-generation Astra H/C (the last Astra model to be sold in Australia).

"We wanted to express the most emotional side of the Opel brand and we believe this vehicle creates an appropriate visual impact to reinforce our dynamic sporty character," Opel's Mark Adams said.

Power for the GTC Paris Concept comes courtesy of a turbo-charged and direct-injected 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

Until now, specific power figures for the GTC Paris Concept were a tightly-held secret. Opel has today revealed that the hot hatch's turbocharged engine pumps out a huge 213kW, bringing it within spitting distance of the 225kW offered by its ultimate rival, the Ford Focus RS.

While the production version of the GTC Paris Concept will likely deliver a little less power - more along the lines of the Golf GTI and the next-generation Focus XR4 Turbo - the three-door Astra line-up will likely also feature diesel and smaller-capacity petrol engines.

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