Luton – These are the first images of Vauxhall's seventh-generation Astra, which will reach production later this year from the company's Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire.
Based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design, powertrains and technology, Astra will receive its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17-27).
One the UK's top-selling and best-loved cars, the Astra is a household name for British car buyers with over 2.9 million sold in the UK over the last 36 years with over 50,000 last year.
Depending on the model and trim level it will be up to 200kg (130kg on average) lighter than its predecessor. The completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in the weight reduction. Every component was checked for compact design and lightweight materials. The body shell weight alone was reduced by 20 per cent from 357kg to 280kg.
Additional, chassis-related measures resulted in a further 50kg weight loss. These include high-strength and ultra-high-strength low-weight steels, compact subframes as well as weight reductions to the front and rear axle.
The all-new Astra features a powertrain portfolio including 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 Corsa, ADAM and VIVA. The engine delivers maximum torque of up to 250Nm, with maximum power available between 1,800rpm and 4,000rpm.
Based on its construction, the new 1.4 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo also adds less weight to the car. The aluminium engine block weighs in at 10kg less than the cast-iron 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 starting from 110PS up to 160PS.
Inspired by 2013's Monza Concept, the lean design makes the new Astra look more athletic than ever before thanks to work carried out by a design team led by Brit Mark Adams.
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 grill and the characteristic 'blade' raising towards the rear make the new Astra immediately recognisable as a member of the Vauxhall family. The front headlamps melt into the radiator grille to form a graphic unity.
The most significant design cue is the divided C-pillar, creating the impression of a floating roof. The interplay of light and shadow is emphasised by the horizontal crossbar above the brand logo linking the rear lights.
Smaller outside, bigger inside
The Astra does not 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 have an impact on aerodynamics and efficiency with the new Astra boasting a drag coefficient below 0.30.
The wheelbase may have been reduced by 2cm but the amount of space inside increased. In combination with newly-designed seats, the passengers in the rear can enjoy an additional 35mm legroom. The distance between the front- and rear-seats is increased providing comfort and space.
The high-quality cockpit and the instrument panel seamlessly transfer the characteristic and aesthetic exterior design to the interior, ensuring that a new interior design generation is introduced in the new Astra. It features a clean look which includes a large colour touchscreen in the centre stack and a reduced amount of control switches and buttons.
As well as OnStar and next generation IntelliLink, other technology available on the new Astra includes:
There's also an 18-way adjustable driver's seat. It has massage function, ventilation and seat-width setting. And the rear passengers can also look forward to more comfort than before with the two heated outer back seats available.