It has been almost four decades since the name GSi – Grand Sport injection – was born. It was supposed to be Opel’s sporty counterweight to the “fau-vec” GTI, and Kadett was the first to get it, along with the Manta, which shares a 115-horsepower 18-cylinder. Those were the days! The GSi versions became very popular (although not as famous as the GTI) and after a long hiatus caused by the introduction (and subsequent fall) of the sporty OPC versions (according to Opel Performance Center GmbH), the GSi name returned with the Insignia – its blown two-liter has 260 hp and it drives very nicely, but you won’t buy it new either. So now the era of GSe begins.

Photo: Opel

The history of the GSi sports series began in 1984 with the Kadett and Manta.

The explanation of the new abbreviation is simple – Grand Sport remains, but instead of “injection” comes “electric”. The first Astra and Astra ST GSe and Grandland GSe are plug-in hybrids. The turbocharged 16-cylinder gasoline engine is connected to an electric motor and a battery charged from a socket. Both Astras thus have a combined power of 225 horsepower turning the front wheels, the tested Grandland has exactly 300 and all-wheel drive (it has two electric motors).

Photo: Opel

The GSe range includes the Astra and Grandland models. More will surely come over time…

Well, it’s just a different time, but if anything, modern cars are even faster thanks to electric doping. On paper, the Grandland GSe can shoot from standstill to 100 km/h in a very brisk 6.1 seconds (So just as fast as the sharpened Astra OPC, remember it?) and accelerates up to 235 km/h.

And behind the wheel, it works a little faster. Switch to sport mode, step on the gas and the Grandland GSe immediately surges forward – first the electricity kicks in (On both axles, remember!), then the turbo revs to full, the petrol engine growls and takes over. Under full throttle, you have a power of 520 Nm at your disposal and it can push you into the seat very authoritatively.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

You can recognize the Grandland GSe not only by the logo on the rear, but above all by the contrasting black hood and roof.

The knees of the Grandland GSe won’t rattle even in corners, because at Opel they lowered the chassis by 10 mm, used specific springs and shock absorbers with KONI FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology, which makes it possible to dampen wheel movements in a different way (high frequency) and body (low frequency). Thus, you can throw yourself into the swings quite boldly, without the car being thrown by bumps or potholes and without being unsettled by body inclinations.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The cabin of the GSe version is not too different from the regular version, a pleasant specialty is the anatomical seats, which are comfortable even on long journeys.

But the GSe by its nature is not a sharp district grinder, its chassis prefers everyday comfort too much for that, the steering is too withdrawn, the extra kilos can’t be denied and the speed isn’t that much either – especially when the battery runs out, then you only get short electric boosts that give a pleasant kick when overtaking, but do not dazzle road athletes.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The battery supplies energy to two electric motors, the combined output of the entire hybrid system is 300 horsepower.

But that doesn’t even matter, because the Grandland GSe works very nicely as a road speedster – it has no problem moving quickly, you can enjoy a nice twisty circuit with it, while you load it with your family and luggage, you can drive it comfortably every day, and even without emissions ( some 40-50 km up to a speed of 135 km/h, then you drive on average for six litres).

The car is also packed with equipment (LED Matrix headlights, driver assistance package, ergonomic AGR seats with electric control and heating, 12″ digital cockpit, 10″ infotainment with navigation or keyless entry and start) and with the GSe optical package (for the black roof and other details you can also have a black hood, a decent bodykit and two-tone 19″ wheels, the cabin has a sports steering wheel and aluminum pedals) it looks great.

But the 1,289,990 CZK (and that’s after the special discount of 170,000 crowns) that Opel claims for its Grandland GSe is simply too much. So much for the fact that there isn’t that much speed again. So much for the fact that the hybrid drives decently on electricity, but after wasting it, it no longer “hybridizes” much. So much for the fact that it is a run-of-the-mill model (Grandland has been on the market since 2017), which doesn’t hide its age very well (especially inside). So much so that for similar money you can get significantly more interesting and sportier/more electrified alternatives.

Opel Grandland makes the most sense in more modest versions. If you put up with the three-cylinder under the hood (it has a completely sufficient 130 horses), then it starts at 639,990 CZK (and a special discount of 110,000), for the eight-speed automatic you throw in 50,000 and the four-cylinder diesel with an automatic costs 729,990 CZK, which is by today’s standards quite a reasonable amount.

Tree in-line four-cylinder, turbo, placed across the front + 2x electric motor
Displacement volume 1,598 cm3
Performance 147 kW (200 hp) at 6,000 rpm.
Torque 300 Nm at 3,000 rpm.
Electric motor front 110 hp, rear 113 hp
The combined performance of the hybrid system 300 to 520 Nm
Transmission automatic, 8 degrees
Tree all four wheels
Standby weight 1 867 kg
Acceleration 0-100 Km/h 6,1 s
Maximal speed 235 km/h
Combined consumption 1.2 l/100 km
Fuel tank volume 43 l
Battery capacity 14,2 kWh
Electric range up to 66 km
Charging 3.7 kW in the base, 7.4 kW for an additional charge
Wheels and tires 225/55 R18
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4 477/1 856/1 609 mm
Wheelbase 2 675 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 390 l