VAUXHALL Astra GTE/16v Mk2

Classic Car

During the hot-hatch wars of the 1980s, the Astra GTE was usually a pace-setter. The original 115bhp car boasted a top speed of 126mph, but this was soon upped when the 130bhp 2-litre arrived in 1987. But less than two years later, the ultimate Astra arrived – the 150bhp GTE 16V, which used its red-top twin-cam to power way beyond 130mph. The rivals could only sit and watch. But straightline speed wasn’t everything – the 16V’s road manners lacked breeding, and a combination of torquesteer and poor traction meant it was often difficult to make the most of its power.

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