At the heart of every Vauxhall GSe model lies two defining characteristics – exciting driving dynamics and electric power.

Each GSe model comes with a dedicated chassis which is geared towards a more dynamic and responsive driving experience that complements the electric powertrain on board.

Ahead of the arrival of the Vauxhall Astra GSe, Astra Sports Tourer GSe and Grandland GSe, Dr. Christian Hartweg, Head of Vehicle Dynamics Specification & Requirement, Opel/Vauxhall, explains how the current GSe has been upgraded to provide an improved driving experience.

Precise, dynamic, and yet still comfortable: GSe chassis with FSD technology

“Our goal was totally clear,” says Hartweg: “The GSe models must offer the optimum balance between driving comfort and performance-oriented handling – together with responsibility for the future.”

The most important assets in this process are the electrified plug-in hybrid powertrains and the chassis, which are fully adapted to the higher performance.

In the case of the Grandland GSe, the combination of two electric motors and a 1.6-litre 225PS turbocharged petrol engine equates to a total power output of 300PS and acceleration of 0-62mph in just 6.1 seconds thanks to the electric all-wheel drive. This makes the Grandland GSe the most powerful Vauxhall on sale today.

For Astra GSe variants, the electrified powertrain produces 225PS and 360Nm of torque – up from 180PS on standard variants, with a 0-62mph acceleration taking just 7.5 seconds. The specifically tuned GSe engine sound enhances the experience further.

“The Astra GSe is immediately recognisable by its specially designed front end and sportier stance, which we lowered by 10millimetres,” says Hartweg. “And they are a lot of fun. In corners, the GSe models stick to the road and remain stable – and they can be driven very dynamically but also very comfortably.”

This is made possible by special springs and dampers with KONI FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology, which are used in the GSe chassis. The FSD technology provides different damping characteristics at high frequencies (to control the suspension) and at low frequencies (focusing on the body), helping improve ride comfort regardless of the road surface condition and driving style. FSD technology is available across both Grandland and Astra GSe models.

The GSe models react directly to any command from the driver and, as is typical for Vauxhall, remain stable when braking, cornering and at high speeds. “The dampers have an additional valve and a second hydraulic circuit,” explains the Hartweg. “The car is then more comfortable or sportier to drive, depending on whether the valve is open or closed. GSe stands for ‘Grand Sport electric’ – sporty driving behaviour with the latest plug-in hybrid technology. Driving engagement has never been so smart.”

New set-up for all Grandland variants

The development of the chassis and steering has not just been limited to GSe models. All Vauxhall Grandland variants now benefit from improved damping and steering, with Vauxhall engineers having increased the damping force in the low piston speed range and reduced it in the medium-to-high-speed range to improve comfort when driving over poor road surfaces. The steering has also been recalibrated for a more direct and precise feel.

The new steering and suspension calibration is available on Grandland models on sale now.


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