These images are the first glimpse of the brand new, seventh-generation Astra. The long awaited model will be built later this year at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire.
Based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design and new powertrains, Astra will receive its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17th - 27th).
The Astra is one of the UK’s top-selling cars and a household name for British motorists, with over 2.9 million sold in the UK over the last 36 years.
Depending on the model and trim level it’ll weigh up to 200kg less than its predecessor. The completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in this weight reduction and the body shell weight alone was reduced by 20 per cent from 357kg to 280kg. The impressive new chassis is also 50kg lighter than before. All thanks to high-strength and low-weight steels, compact subframes and weight reductions to the front and rear axle.
The all-new Astra features an impressive powertrain portfolio that includes petrol and diesel units ranging from 100PS to 200PS.
The highlight of the engine range is the all-new 1.4-litre (145PS) ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, a four-cylinder unit from the same family as the one-litre, three-cylinder engine seen in the Corsa, ADAM and VIVA. The engine delivers up to 250Nm of torque, and has its maximum power ranges between 1,800rpm and 4,000rpm.
Based on its lightweight construction, the new 1.4 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo also reduces the car’s weight. The aluminium engine block weighs in at 10kg less than the forged steel block of the current 1.4-litre turbo.
There’s also a base-level 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo (105PS) petrol engine and a 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper Diesel’ range with outputs ranging from 110PS to 160PS.
Inspired by 2013’s Monza Concept, the new Astra’s lean design looks more athletic than ever before thanks to work carried out by a design team led by Brit Mark Adams.
The evolution of the Vauxhall design philosophy, ‘sculptural artistry meets technical precision’, ensures that the new Astra catches the eye with a lighter, more agile appearance.
The Griffin in the centre of the chrome bar on the grille and the characteristic ‘blade’ raising towards the rear make the new Astra immediately recognisable as a member of the Vauxhall family.
The most significant design cue is the divided C-pillar, creating the impression of a floating roof. And the interplay of light and shadow is emphasised by the horizontal crossbar above the brand logo linking the rear lights.
The Astra doesn’t just look smaller – it is smaller. With a total length of 4.37m it is almost 5cm shorter than its predecessor. With a height of 1.46m it is also 2.6cm lower. The dimensions also have a huge impact on aerodynamics and efficiency, so the new Astra boasts a drag coefficient below 0.30.
The wheelbase may have been reduced by 2cm but the amount of space inside has been increased. And with newly designed seats, the passengers in the rear can enjoy an additional 35mm of legroom. The distance between the front- and rear-seats has also increased, providing even more comfort and space.
The high-quality cockpit and the instrument panel seamlessly carry the character of the exterior into the interior. It features a clean look, including a large colour touchscreen in the centre stack and a cleaner dashboard with fewer control switches and buttons.
The new Astra will be the first Vauxhall model available with OnStar from its launch.
OnStar offers customers a broad range of safety and comfort services. If an airbag deploys, OnStar will be alerted automatically. An advisor will then contact the vehicle to determine whether help is needed. If there is no response, emergency services are immediately sent to the exact location of the car.
Drivers and passengers can reach OnStar 24/7 and 365 days a year. No matter whether they need roadside assistance or any other service – an OnStar advisor is always ready to help. OnStar also turns the new Astra into a 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. And up to seven devices, from smartphones to tablets, can be connected simultaneously.
The new generation IntelliLink is also making its debut in the new Astra.
The infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and incorporates the features smartphone users rely on most. Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at Android.com/auto.
Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner, allowing drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music using the touchscreen or via voice control. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.
The new Astra will also be the first Vauxhall to get glare-free IntelliLux LED Matrix Light.
Bringing premium technology to the mainstream, these new LED headlights provide outstanding night-time performance, improving the safety of the driver and those around them.
Consisting of 16 LED segments (eight on each side of the vehicle) the LED matrix system automatically and constantly adapts the length and distribution of the light beam to every traffic situation.
It works in conjunction with the front camera system, which detects the presence of other vehicles and then switches off the individual LED segments, preventing other road users from being dazzled.
In addition to the many automatic low and high beam pattern variations, IntelliLux LED also provides a special highway light mode that further increases safety at night. And a special welcome light function makes entering and exiting the Astra more comfortable in the dark.
Not only does the system illuminate the surroundings better than conventional lighting systems, it also has a considerably longer running life than headlamps with halogen or xenon lamps.
As well as OnStar and next generation IntelliLink, other technology available on the new Astra includes:
The all-new Astra will receive its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17th - 27th).
Images and colours shown are for illustrative purposes only and may show optional equipment.