Even though the latest Opel Astra looks very different compared to the Peugeot 308, both inside and out, they are basically the same car underneath, based on the same Stellantis platform, featuring the same tech and powertrains. That’s why it’s no surprise that Opel has launched plug-in hybrid versions of the Astra which share the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Peugeot.
Opel is using its newly revived GSe badge to designate the Astra hatch and wagon plug-in hybrids, suggesting that they are meant to be sportier options. They get a 10-mm lower ride height, a stiffer overall suspension setup with revised springs and dampers, as well as retuned steering to give a more direct feel.
Gallery: Opel Astra GSe
The plug-in hybrid powertrain is centered around a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that together with an electric motor makes 225 horsepower and 360 Nm (265 pound-feet) of torque, all of which is sent to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. You can also get the lower-powered 180 horsepower version of the PHEV powertrain, but that doesn’t get any of the GSe-specific mechanical changes mentioned above, so it’s slower and less sporty to drive.
And in order to make it look more special, Opel has given the Astra GSe models redesigned front and rear bumpers, a blacked out grille complete with black logo, unique 18-inch wheels, while inside it gets Alcantara-clad sports seats that are not available on other grades. It also features GSe badging inside and out, although it is quite subtle and not apparent at first sight.
Opel hasn’t released any performance numbers, but in a straight line at least, it should be identical to the 225 horsepower Peugeot 308 PHEV. That gets a claimed sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 7.5 seconds and its top speed is rated at 235 km/h (146 mph).
Electric-only range should also be very similar, if not identical. The Peugeot PHEV can drive a claimed up to 63 km (39 miles) on one charge of the 12.4 kWh battery pack. The on-board charger is limited to 3.7 kW as standard (which needs around 2 hours to fully charge the pack), but you should be able to upgrade to a 7.4 kW charger at extra cost and basically halve the wait time.