All-new As­tra

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drive Time -

As one of Bri­tain’s most pop­u­lar cars, the As­tra has be­come a house­hold name with more than 2.9 mil­lion sold in the UK over the last 36 years with over 50,000 last year.

And the model, due to re­ceive its world de­but at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber, will be smaller out­side but big­ger in­side and up to 200kg lighter than the out­go­ing ver­sion.

Its en­gine line-up will fea­ture both petrol and diesel units rang­ing from 100 to 200PS, the high­light be­ing the all-new 1.4-litre (145PS) ECOTEC Di­rect In­jec­tion Turbo.

This is a four-cylin­der unit from the same fam­ily as the 1.0-litre three-cylin­der en­gine seen in Corsa, ADAM and the new VIVA and also adds less weight to the car.

There’s also a base-level 1.0 ECOTEC di­rect in­jec­tion petrol Turbo with 105PS and a 1.6 CDTi ‘whis­per’ diesel range with out­puts start­ing from 110PS up to 160PS.

Inspired by the Monza con­cept of 2013, the As­tra has been given a more lean and ath­letic ap­peal by Bri­tish de­signer Mark Adams, pos­si­bly the most strik­ing part be­ing the di­vided C-pil­lar which cre­ates the im­pres­sion of a float­ing roof.

While the wheel­base has been re­duced by 2cm the amount of space in­side the car has ac­tu­ally in­creased, to the point that rear pas­sen­gers can en­joy an ex­tra 35mm of legroom.

And the dis­tance be­tween the front and rear seats has also in­creased for added com­fort and space.

Mean­while, Vaux­hall says the new As­tra will be the com­pany’s first new model to be avail­able with the per­sonal con­nec­tiv­ity and ser­vice as­sis­tant OnS­tar – which of­fers buy­ers safety and com­fort ser­vices - from its launch.

For in­stance if an airbag de­ploys, OnS­tar will be au­to­mat­i­cally alerted, an ad­viser will con­tact the ve­hi­cle and if there’s no re­sponse, emer­gency ser­vices will be sent to the ve­hi­cle.

Another first for As­tra will be glare-free In­tel­liLux LED Ma­trix Light to im­prove safety at night.

Con­sist­ing of 16 LED sec­tions - eight on each side of the ve­hi­cle - the LED ma­trix sys­tem au­to­mat­i­cally adapts the length and dis­tri­bu­tion of the light beam to traf­fic sit­u­a­tions.

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