• Sep 8, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of fourth-gen Astra sneak peek

We just told you about Bob Lutz' comments that the Saturn Astra is too expensive and not making any money in the U.S., but that may change when the next iteration arrives. Of course, the next Astra will debut in Europe first as an Opel (and Vauxhall in the UK), but we suspect that GM will offer it in the U.S. again, especially if the automaker can build it locally so that it's not dogged by a weak currency exchange like the current model. Though not scheduled to debut until late next year at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the fourth-gen Astra is making an appearance today in a couple of sketches released by General Motors Europe. The design is said to take direct inspiration from the new Insignia, which itself will become the next-gen Saturn Aura. The all-new Astra will be based on the Delta II platform with vehicles like the Chevy Cruze and Volt and feature a new range of fuel efficient engines, clever packaging solutions and trick technology like the Insignia's Front Camera System that recognizes road signs. Check out the sneak peeks in our gallery below.


[Source: GM]

PRESS RELEASE

ALL-NEW ASTRA SET TO TAKE COMPACT CLASS BY STORM IN 2009
  • 5-door hatch to debut at 2009 Frankfurt Show
  • All-new, highly sophisticated chassis
  • New high-efficiency engines
  • Leading technology evolved from Insignia
Luton. The next generation Vauxhall Astra will receive its premiere at next year's Frankfurt Show, delivering a compelling mix of technical innovation and groundbreaking design that promises to raise the bar in the compact sector.

With its flowing lines and signature sculpted blade, the new Astra will carry the spirit of the Insignia into the compact class, offering customers a premium feel, while maintaining Vauxhall's value for money promise.

Inside, the premium theme will continue, with a warm, wrap-around interior and a wing-line sweep that links the instrument panel to the door.

An all-new chassis promises to maintain the Astra's reputation for class-leading dynamics, while new engines will maximise low-end torque to achieve miserly fuel consumption.

Also expect to see clever and practical features on the new Astra, taking inspiration from systems like the Corsa's FlexFix integrated carrier.

The new Astra will major on technical innovation, such as the Front Camera System used in the upcoming Insignia, which combines traffic sign recognition with a lane departure system, improving occupant safety and potentially helping drivers avoid fines.

Next generation Adaptive Front Lighting (AFL) will also be shared with the Insignia. The system adapts to different road and driving conditions by providing nine unique light beams, improving visibility and safety during night-time driving.

This will be the fourth generation of the hugely successful Astra, which has sold over 2.5 million cars in the UK during the last 27 years.

The current model kick-started Vauxhall's design renaissance when it was launched in 2004, and according to Mark Adams, GM Europe's Vice President of Design, it presented his team with serious challenges: "The present Astra already combines a high level of technical substance and emotional styling, but with the new car we are taking a big step forward in both respects, while emphasising its sporting credentials."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why bother offering this stuff to me?!

      I just wanted you to know it's useless and creates an apathy in me that's far worse than even Oprah can generate.

      No more 5-line teasers and artistic renderings please!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yup, and it will come with a great selection of crappy engines.

      Oh, and, as a bonus, because you are American, we will decontent the car. No bluetooth or leather for you.

        • 6 Years Ago
        The current Astra has an EcoTEC, and the new one will likely have a current gen EcoTEC, maybe even a DI version.

        The EcoTEC isn't a crappy engine.

        It better have Bluetooth integration.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it really too much to ask for simultaneous cross-pond product launches?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You'd figure that if they did make the same car in two different countries, it would streamline engineering costs and possibly increase economies of scale. Doesn't make sense to me to waste money and design time on all this useless badge engineering.

        I agree. Just launch the same car in two countries. Quit making the Euro cars better and selling us lookalike garbage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as they offer a nice wagon in the US, I'll be happy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like Saturn is jealous of the new VW Scirocco
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope GM offers this in the US- the current Astra is so close- it just needs to be tweaked a little bit to American tastes (a little more power, more modern auto tranny, jack for ipod/mp3s) and made in NA so it can be price-competitive. the Mazda3 and Rabbit have both sold over expectations for NA- there is a market for well-designed hatchbacks wih features that are usually in bigger cars.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't see ''more power'' as an ''american taste'' like you said, when the Opel Astra OPC runs out there in Europe with a 240hp 2.0T, plus 8 other powertrain choices. It's more that when they bring out something in america, they shrink the availability to one engine, and one or two trim levels.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefully they fix the 1980's IBM Dashboard.

      Overall- the shape looks great without looking too much like a rock.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. It needs the same style makeover the CTS got. It went from a super-plastic interior with a 80s-era floppy-drive slot to a great interior. This car can't have as expensive an interior, but it can have a similarly-themed makeover.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who cares what it looks like...
      Are they going to put reasonable engines choices in like the europeans get... or are we in for more AMERICAN choices... which require more horsepower and are locked into low 30 mpgs on the highway!?
      Well.. at least we can get to 60mph 2 seconds sooner.
      Yay!

      - mike
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, the current engine choice is terrible and the price is too high because it's an import. A better Auto transmission choice would be nice too. A 4 speed is so 1990s, which is my current complaint with most of Subaru's offerings as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too little too late GM. Despite never owning a non-general car, and looking forward to jumping back in on a Saturn, unless my dealer can make a unbelievable deal on the current gen Astra, Cobalt, or Aura, I am jumping ship. I am not holding off on buying a new car for promises you didnt deliver to me in 2005 (like a iPod sync kit that turned into the 2006 year having a AUX jack and a MPG that was listed as over 25 yet I have yet to reach 20 on my Cobalt despite bringing it in twice for warrantee repair. And dont get me started on the rotors warped on a 7 mile old car)
      • 6 Years Ago
      The GM Gods have awoken !!!
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