New Vauxhall Grandland GSe joins Astra GSe in hot PHEV lineup

The latest addition to Vauxhall’s plug-in performance car line-up goes on sale in spring 2023, with pricing to be announced closer to launch

Vauxhall Grandland GSe

Vauxhall has been out of the performance car game for several years, since the VXR name was last used back in 2017. But last month, the British carmaker launched a new electrified performance sub-brand called GSe – a badge we first saw on the Opel Manta ElektroMOD concept shown in 2021. 

The Vauxhall Grandland GSe is the latest car to wear the badge, joining the Astra GSe in the hot PHEV range. The Grandland is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and two electric motors – one on each axle – for all-wheel-drive and a total power output of 296bhp. 0-62mph takes 6.1 seconds, while top speed for the plug-in hybrid performance SUV stands at 146mph (84mph in EV mode).

The styling of the Grandland has also been tweaked for the GSe version, including a new rear diffuser and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels inspired by those from the one-off Manta GSe ElektroMOD. It’s also fitted with tuned suspension and sports seats, while a black bonnet is available as an optional extra.

The hot Astra is available in both hatchback and Sports Tourer estate body styles, and uses a less powerful plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Astra GSe produces 222bhp and 360Nm of torque in total, and Vauxhall says the car’s systems have been recalibrated (over the standard Astra PHEV) to provide a sportier feel.

Performance figures for the Astra GSe haven’t been confirmed yet, but the brand claims it will match key rivals for acceleration and top speed, so expect a 0-62mph time of under seven seconds based on the stats for the Volkswagen Golf GTE and Cupra Leon e-Hybrid. Vauxhall has revealed the Astra GSe can return up to 257mpg and emits just 25g/km, trumping the Cupra and VW in both areas.

Pricing for both the Astra GSe and Grandland GSe are currently under wraps, but we expect them to start from around £38,000 and £45,000 respectively. Customer deliveries for both will begin in early 2023.

Vauxhall says GSe stands for ‘Grand Sport Electric’, with the badge to be worn by top-of-the-range versions of all its models offered with plug-in hybrid or pure-electric power. The Mokka-e compact electric SUV and Corsa-e electric hatchback will get the GSe treatment next. The latter could serve as a zero-emissions alternative to the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI, while a tuned Mokka-e has the potential to face off against the 422bhp Smart #1 Brabus.

Then there’s the electric version of the latest Vauxhall Astra, called the Astra-e, arriving in 2023. A GSe version could serve as a rival to electric hot hatches like the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.3 GTX and 443bhp MG4 EV – both of which will also be arriving next year.

Vauxhall’s range of electric cars is set to rapidly expand over the next few years. One of those EVs will bring back that iconic Manta nameplate from the 1970s – albeit most likely as a four-door coupe-SUV.

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