The Astra is back, and this time with a Holden badge installed on the nose.
Following Opel's brief and ultimately ill-fated incursion into the Australian market, Holden has reintroduced the Astra, primarily to bolster its performance line up.
Wading into battle against the recently facelifted Focus ST and Renault Sport Megane is the Astra VXR, priced at $39,990, a $3000 cut from when the car was offered previously.
This is $1000 more than the new Focus ST, but undercuts the similarly focused Megane RS265 by a heft $4000.
The VXR features a formidable standard specification, including a 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four, mechanical limited-slip diff, Brembo front brakes, clever HiPerStrut front suspension and three-way adjustable dampers.
Arguably even more impressive is the $26,990 ask for the base manual GTC, which now features a 147kW/280Nm 1.6-litre turbo four.
A six-speed automatic is also available for an extra $2200, but cuts outputs to 125kW/260Nm.
A $3000 Sport package adds 19s (18s standard), leather seats and a body kit.
Holden's sharply-priced new twins are welcome additions to the local hatch segment, and we'll be putting them to the test in the coming weeks.
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