Astra Ruminations

Click image for an Astra TwinTop Gallery

GM has released the Vauxhall Astra TwinTop Exclusiv Black edition (above) in the UK. It's essentially a loaded-up TwinTop with a few optional goodies thrown in as standard equipment. The extras include the pictured 18" alloys, leather, heated seats and cruise control, and the full package comes in at a lower cost than the Astra TwinTop Design trim upon which the Exclusiv Black is based.

For our overseas friends (in the UK, in this case), this is all well and good. For us, the TwinTop is just a tease of what the future could hold for us in Saturn stores. With the Astra hatchbacks set to arrive later this year following their big debut at the Chicago Auto Show, we can't help but speculate on what other tricks the General has up its sleeve regarding the model. Of all the existing variants, including wagon, sedan and panorama roof editions, the TwinTop is high on the list of ones we want to see in Saturn duds. The Saturn Sky is sexy and great fun, but incredibly impractical at the same time -- much more a 3rd car than a primary or secondary vehicle. If Saturn were to field the TwinTop in addition, however, we think it'd connect with buyers right away. A stylish, usable all-season 4-place coupe/convertible would fit the brand nicely and could easily be marketed as a legit everyday vehicle, assuming it was priced right. Part of us wonders whether GM would worry about it taking sales away from the Pontiac G6 convertible, but since the General doesn't shy from overlap (see Lambda crossovers), we think the two could and should coexist.

We feel that a strong Astra Red Line should be the first expansion of that model's range here in the States, but the Twin Top would make a great round two. What do you think?

[Source: GM]
Vauxhall Astra TwinTop Exclusiv Black
Vauxhall Astra TwinTop Exclusiv Black
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  • More equipment, lower price with new limited edition drop top
  • Charcoal leather, cruise control and 18" alloy wheels all as standard
  • On sale now from £18,725
Anyone who dreams of owning a convertible this summer will know that looking good is one of the most important requirements. Vauxhall is making it easier for the most style-conscious buyers to look their best in an Astra TwinTop by offering stylish options and actually charging less for it!

The TwinTop Exclusiv Black edition is based on the range-topping Design trim level but adds black leather trim, heated seats, cruise control and great looking eleven-spoke 18" alloy wheels. These options would normally cost an extra £1,200 but the price is actually £470 less than the model on which it is based.

In addition to the extra kit, the Exclusiv Black also keeps the long list of standard equipment from the Design model including the innovative remote-control three-piece electro hydraulic roof, ESP, pop-up automatic rollover bars, piano black facia trim, rain sensitive wipers, a wind break and automatic headlamps.

Two exterior colours will be available, pearlescent Black Sapphire to match the interior or a vibrant Power Red for those who prefer a brighter contrast.

The Exclusiv Black is available now with a choice of three engines: an advanced 1.8-litre VVT petrol, a frugal and punchy 1.9CDTi 150PS diesel and a powerful 200PS 2.0-litre petrol Turbo. Prices start at just £18,725.

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