The Vauxhall Astra Coupé was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1999 and was a collaboration between GM and the Italian design house of Bertone. Production began in Turin the following spring and was initially planned at 30,000 cars per year. The coupé was slightly longer and lower than the equivalent saloon, and with a steeply raked windscreen a drag cofficient (Cd) of 0.28 was achieved. Frameless doors and black C-pillars were a neat design touch.
In order to celebrate Vauxhall's overall victory in the 2001 British Touring Car Championship, Triple Eight Engineering, who built the BTCC cars for Vauxhall, built 100 special editions of the Astra Coupé. The car featured a range of modifications and extras designed to sharpen the driving experience. The standard 2.0 litre turbocharged was unchanged but the Coupé 888 was fitted with Eibach lowered and stiffened springs and dampers, and a set of 17 inch “OZ Racing” alloy wheels.