The new Opel Astra Cabrio is the first convertible in its class to offer buyers the convenience of an automatic soft-top as standard. The dynamically styled two-door model goes on sale this spring with a fully retracting, electric soft top that opens and closes at the push of a button. The optional remote control makes it even easier to operate. Thanks to the soft top's excellent heat insulating properties and the extensive equipment package, the new Astra Cabrio is well-suited for everyday, all-year-round use. It features four full-size seats, lots of interior space, a large trunk and three lively yet economical, high-torque ECOTEC engines (100 to 147 hp). The sporty DSA (Dynamic Safety) chassis is complemented by ABS, Opel's TC Plus traction control system plus ESP (electronic stability program) on the two more powerful engines.
The Astra Cabrio's elegant lines were penned by a team of designers from Opel and Bertone. Together they created a sporty and stylish design that looks particularly striking when the top is open. With the soft top stowed beneath its cover, the belt line rises towards the rear of the car with no bulging fabric, no visible roll bar and no tri-angular window at the A-pillar to disturb the clear-cut lines or impair the 360-degree visibility. Exterior details such as the door handles, side skirts and mirror housings are painted in body color. Darkened taillights and a chrome strip on the trunk lid emphasize the open-air Astra's exclusive appearance.
Astra Cabrio owners can react quickly the moment they catch the first glimpse of the sun. Opening the soft top is easy – just turn the central D-shaped handle in the roof through 90 degrees and push the soft top upwards slightly. Then press a button on the center console and the soft top folds together automatically before disappearing beneath the flush cover of its sheet metal case. Opening or closing the roof takes no more than 30 seconds.
For even more convenience the Opel engineers at the International Technical Develop-ment Center (ITDC) in Rüsselsheim developed a remote-control for the three-layer soft-top. The system is operated by the standard central locking function in the key. If one of the two buttons is pressed for longer than two seconds, the soft top opens or closes automatically.
The Astra Cabrio is designed first and foremost for open-air enthusiasts, yet it has all the advantages of an all-year compact-class car. The stylish new model has four full-size seats with a spacious interior and plenty of rear legroom thanks to its long wheelbase of 2606 millimeters (overall length: 4267 mm). The heated rear window is made of scratch-resistant glass. Despite the soft top case, which adds even more rigidity to the already stable body structure, the luggage capacity is above average at 330 liters (VDA standard test method). A particularly clever idea: the windbreak can be stored on rails under the case when not needed. As a result, it is always available but never in the way. The standard load-through facility between the two rear seats is big enough for two pairs of skis and one snowboard.
Apart from the electric soft top and remote-control central locking, additional convenient features include power windows at the front and rear, easy-entry sport seats with memory function at the front and height/reach adjustment for the steering wheel. The particularly luxurious "Bertone Edition" also comes with the remote control function for the soft top, leather seats and a windbreak. These are also available individually as optional extras. The comprehensive infotainment range sets new standards as well. The top-of-the-line NCDR 1500 unit combines a high-quality audio system with an integrated four-CD changer, a navigation system of the latest generation and a hands-free GSM carphone. A color monitor for detailed map display is available as an option.
The extensive safety package includes Active Head Restraints on the front-seats (to reduce the risk of whiplash-related neck injuries), Opel's patented "Pedal Release System" (to improve protection for the driver against foot and lower leg injuries in the event of a severe frontal impact), front airbags, side airbags (option), three-point belts at all four seats and belt tensioners at the front. Roll-over protection is provided by reinforced A-pillars at the front and foam-covered steel head-restraint frames at the rear.
For the new Astra Cabrio, buyers can choose between three lively ECOTEC, four-cylinder engines with four-valve technology: the 1.6-liter (74 kW / 100 hp), the1.8 (92 kW / 125 hp) and the smooth-running, top-of-the-line 2.2 aluminum unit with 108 kW / 147 hp which gives the car a top speed of 216 km/h. All three engines are notable for their pulling power, performance and low fuel consumption. The convertible has the Astra's DSA (Dynamic SAfety) suspension that provides both agile handling and ample safety reserves, thanks to its self-stabilizing elasto-kinematics. ABS is standard on all models, while ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and "TC Plus" electronic traction control are standard with the 1.8 and 2.2-liter engines.
The Opel Astra Cabrio is manufactured together with the Astra Coupe at the renowned Italian design specialists and coachbuilders, Bertone. Like every other member of the Astra family, the Cabrio comes with a 12-year anti-perforation warranty. It is certain to continue the successful history of its predecessors, which were also built in Grugliasco near Turin. More than 100,000 customers bought the previous convertibles based on the Astra (1993 – 1999) and Kadett models (1987 – 1993). Says Opel's Executive Director Brand Management, Alain Uyttenhoven, "Opel has a long tradition of convertibles. The Lutzmann motor vehicle of 1899 was the very first open car it built! Now we are introducing a very attractive model in the form of the new Astra Cabrio. It has the looks of larger, more expensive convertibles, is great fun to drive and offers all the equipment you need for everyday driving."