The first cars arrive in showrooms this month after a global debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The previous Sports Tourer was the third most popular estate car sold in 2015. The fleet/retail sales split was 80:20.
The Astra Sports Tourer is based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design, powertrains and technology. It is built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire, which is the only factory to build the estate model. Ellesmere Port beat competition from across Europe to build the new car, and 52 per cent of production is exported to 25 European markets. At full production it is estimated the plant will build around 680 cars per day and 120,000 per year.
“The all-new Astra and Astra Sports Tourer are of critical importance to Vauxhall and its manufacturing facility in Ellesmere Port,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “I’m very proud of the men and women who build this vehicle to world class levels of quality and productivity.”
The Astra range also owes its looks to a team led by British designers Mark Adams and Malcom Ward.
The latest generation Sports Tourer has almost the same dimensions as the outgoing model but offers more space for passengers and luggage. It is up to 190kg lighter than its predecessor and has a co-efficient drag-value of 0.272 making it as streamlined as the five-door variant.
The bodyshell and structure alone are around 85kg lighter. High-strength and ultra-high-strength lightweight steels, more compact subframes as well as modification to the front and rear suspension all contributed to this result.
For the first time on a Vauxhall, the tailgate can be opened without a touch or a remote control. In combination with “Keyless Entry and Start” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate.
The new Astra Sports Tourer features a full range of more efficient petrol and diesel powertrains. The new Astra Sports Tourer diesel with 108 BHP, for example, achieves 83.1mpg while only emitting 89g/km of CO2.
All diesel units have a displacement of 1.6 litres – including Vauxhall’s top-of-the-range BiTurbo engine. In combination with six-speed manual transmission, Start/Stop, the 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi with 158 BHP can achieve up to 67.3mpg and emits as little as 112g/km of CO2. Maximum torque is 258 lb ft and top speed is 137mph. Its performance is almost identical to that of the 35 BHP more powerful and higher displacement 2.0-litre predecessor, but around twenty per cent more efficient.
The new Astra Sports Tourer with the BiTurbo diesel weighs almost 150kg less than its predecessor. This is down to the lightweight construction of the bodywork and chassis and the intelligent component design. The aluminum cylinder block and improved packaging are the two main factors.
A further feature available on the Astra Sports Tourer is Vauxhall OnStar. The infotainment offering includes two latest-generation devices of Vauxhall’s IntelliLink system, bringing the connected world of smartphones and apps into the car. With the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, users can access maps, message reading and third-party apps (depending on the integration system) via the car controls and its large touchscreens (up to eight inches).
OnStar, launched in the summer of 2015, also provides a powerful a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, enabling up to seven devices to be connected to the car network. The built-in 4G LTE structure is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system. As OnStar comprises an independent SIM card encapsulated in its module, customers are not required to have a smartphone to use connected services.
OnStar gives access to a broad portfolio of services such as emergency services, roadside assistance and remote control through the myVauxhall App. OnStar Advisors are located at the high-tech Vauxhall OnStar Contact Center in Luton.