We're still a month away from the Paris Motor Show which alternates every other year with the Frankfurt Motor Show. Nonetheless, GM has released some teaser images of the next-generation Astra which won't appear until Frankfurt in 2009. We've been seeing spy shots of the new Astra for some time now, but GM has managed to keep much of the surface development covered up thus far. According to the press release accompanying the images, the final version will be seeing more of the features that have appeared on the new mid-size Insignia along with recent Opel concepts like the GTC and Flextreme. Among those are the sculpted side blade and the wrap-around interior. The sketch above also shows a shoulder character line above the rear wheels that has appeared on the other cars. The Astra shares the next-generation Delta compact car platform with the new Chevy Cruze and Volt and it is expected to be built in North America in addition to Europe. That will be the key to making it a profitable enterprise for Saturn. The current Astra has been a commercial failure due to its relatively high price and limited changes from the European version; it still loses money for GM.
[Source: General Motors]
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."