The Opel Astra will finally be coming to the US market (actually it's been here for a while as the Chevy Cobalt, but lets not quibble over details) in the near future badged as the next generation of the Saturn Ion, although the name name may change. The Saturn version will actually look more like the Astra, since Saturn is now essentially the US equivalent of Vauxhall.

Along with a minor visual face lift for 2007, the Astra gets some new engines that use less fuel and emit less CO2 while still producing more power. An updated 1.6L turbocharged gas engine gets a 16 percent improvement in fuel economy for a combined rating of 31mpg and CO2 reduction from 216 g/km to 185 g/km. The normally aspirated 1.6L also gets a 4 percent bump in efficiency to 37 mpg and a corresponding drop in CO2 emissions. Two updated 1.7L common rail turbo-diesels also join the party rated at 110 and 125 hp. They both have maintenance free particulate filters and the fuel economy ratings will be released with the new engines in spring 2007. Hopefully the diesels will be included in the Saturn version as well.

[Source: GreenCarCongress]

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