One of the UK’s top-selling and best-loved cars, Astra is a household name for British car buyers with almost three million sold in the UK over the last 36 years, including 50,000 in the last 12 months. More than 25 per cent of British motorists have either owned or driven an Astra, so reaction to a new model will always be felt across the market.
New Astra is based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design, powertrains and technology, the Astra is built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire. It is the lead plant for the new model.
Accounting for 12 per cent of C-Segment sales, key rivals in this fiercely competitive sector include the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf. The Astra has a very diverse customer profile appealing to people from all areas of society, male and female, young and old. The retail/fleet split is 70:30 in favour of company car drivers and fleet decision-makers.
Depending on the model and trim level it is up to 200kg 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 powertrain portfolio features petrol and diesel units ranging from 98bhp to 198bhp, including an all-new 1.4-litre (148bhp) ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo and the recently-launched 1.6-litre CDTi Whisper Diesel.
New Astra is also the first Vauxhall to feature OnStar, the ground-breaking connectivity technology now available across Europe. OnStar includes high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery alert.
“The all-new Brit-built Astra raises the bar in terms of quality, design and connectivity,” said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “Lighter than ever before, with new powertrains and cutting-edge technology, the new Astra is set to shake up the C-segment when it arrives in showrooms this autumn.”