After the Opel Astra, the Grandsport is now coming as a GSe version. Fast, powerful and as a plug-in hybrid. How does it drive with three engines?

It is currently the most powerful model in Opel’s portfolio: the Opel Grandland GSe has a total output of 221 kW / 300 hp and a maximum torque of 520 Nm. This power results from three engines: a four-cylinder combustion engine with a displacement of 1,598 ccm that delivers 147 kW / 200 hp, an electric motor at the front with 81.2 kW / 110 hp and another electric motor at the rear that generates 83 kW at 14,000 rpm / 113 hp.

With the sporty SUV, which will be launched parallel to the new Astra GSe and will roll off the assembly line in Eisenach, Opel is reviving its former sport abbreviation, which was first emblazoned on the rear of a Commodore A GS/E in 1970. Except that the E today no longer means injection, but electric. With a starting price of 57,600 euros, the Grandland GSe is not only the most powerful, but also the most expensive Opel at the dealership, despite being fully equipped.

Visually, the Grandland GSe is only slightly different from the same model with a pure combustion engine. The 19-inch wheels in the wheel arches are inspired by those on the Manta GSe concept car, with a more subtle diffuser at the rear. Otherwise: 4477 mm long, 1906 mm wide and 1,609 mm. The wheelbase is 2675 mm.

And also inside little new to the usual equipment. The GSe seats most likely still. Refined with the seal of the campaign for healthy backs (AGR), nice grip and comfortable – you get out fit even after a long journey. The cockpit is taken from the other Grandland models. The digital instrument cluster in front of the driver is simple and clearly laid out, but does not even show the speed in sport mode. There’s plenty of room in the front, less in the back.

If the front seats are pushed all the way back for tall passengers, there is little room left for the knees. The rear seats aren’t particularly grippy either, and more than two adults don’t really fit on them. At 390 liters, the load space in the GSe is not exactly ample – the combustion model has 514 liters. With the rear seat folded down, the GSe has 1,528 liters. At 1,250 kilograms, the trailer load is not exactly lavish either.

The all-electric range of the Grandland GSe is 65 kilometers – not exactly ample. New plug-in models often cover more than 100 kilometers. After all, that’s enough for the Grandland for a large part of the daily driving distances. Otherwise, it is better to go in hybrid mode. Then the petrol engine switches on relatively often, but this happens consistently gently and imperceptibly. Not even the interior noise changes much. In all-wheel drive mode, the rear electric motor works permanently and in the sport setting, all motors are in action. Then the 1.7-tonne sports SUV manages to go from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds – just a little faster than a Golf GTi. Thanks to the fast throttle response, you are on the road quickly and stress-free. The top speed of the Grandland GSe is 235 km/h.

The battery in the Grandland GSe has a total capacity of 14.2 hWh and can be recharged in two hours and ten minutes with the optional single-phase 7.4 kW on-board charger at a 22 kW charging station – it couldn’t be faster. The bottom line, according to WLTP, is consumption of 1.3 liters of Super and 16.3 kWh of electricity per 100 kilometers. Incidentally, recuperation only takes place if B mode is explicitly selected. Otherwise sailing is the order of the day.

Traveling with the Grandland is very comfortable and pleasant. This is not least due to the ingenuity of the engineers. They have fitted the chassis with special, frequency-selective dampers from KONI, which can mechanically adapt their damping force to the respective situation even without electronics. This works very well. The Grandland GSe rolls smoothly even on rather rough roads and the rolling movements of the body are noticeable at most when driving fast in serpentines.

The steering has been recalibrated for a sporty driving style and responds crisply. It circles corners precisely, at most if you put it on it it pushes slightly over the front wheels. But the ESP catches him up again quickly and safely.

57,600 euros is already an announcement for the Grandland GSe. Especially since the subsidy for private buyers has expired. The “normal” Grandland plug-in hybrid would remain as an alternative. It doesn’t have such a fancy GSe logo on the tailgate and only has 224 hp – but it’s almost 12,000 euros cheaper.