Opel is expanding its successful Astra model family with a new sporty and stylish sedan. Featuring typical Astra strengths, including advanced technologies and its widely recognized quality, the new upscale and elegant notchback is a more affordable alternative for customers who would usually opt for this type of car in the mid-size segment. With this new four-door sedan, the five-door hatchback, the Sports Tourer station wagon and the racy GTC coupe, the line-up of Opel´s top-seller Astra is now complete.
At the start of sales in June, customers can initially choose between seven engines for the new Astra sedan: four gasoline units (74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp), of which three can be combined with a six-speed automatic and three diesel engines (70 kW/95 hp to 96 kW/130 hp). The two ultra-efficient Astra notchback 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX models with Start/Stop system and further efficiency enhancing technologies combine powerful outputs of 81 kW/110 hp or 96 kW/130 hp with diesel consumption figures as low as 3.7 liters per 100 kilometers. This is equivalent to only 99g/km CO2 emissions. In addition to this broad powertrain offer, early next year the new Astra four-door will benefit from the launch of Opel's new highly efficient, powerful and refined SIDI ECOTEC four-cylinder gasoline engine generation with 1.6 liters displacement, turbocharging and spark ignition direct injection.
The new Astra notchback sedan (Length/Width/Height: 4,658/1,814/1,476 mm) has a wheel base of 2,685 mm and provides generous interior space. Its separate trunk offers 460 liters of volume - 90 liters more than the five-door model. By folding the 60:40 split rear bench flat the luggage volume can be increased up to a maximum of 1,010 liters.
"With its sporty and elegant design, the new Astra sedan re-energizes the compact four-door segment. Like all our Astras it is engineered in Rüsselsheim and offers a high level of technology and widely recognized quality," says Opel CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke. "Our new Astra notchback is an important part of our product offensive and plays a key role in our growth strategy. It is a stylish, more affordable alternative to many four-door sedans in the mid-size segment, therefore we see significant conquest potential in Western Europe. It will also play a leading role in substantially increasing our market share in key growth markets such as Russia and Turkey, where there is strong customer demand for compact cars with a separate luggage compartment."
Sporty and stylish design combined with balanced proportions
The Opel design team gave the new Astra notchback a very stylish and sleek silhouette. The roofline arcs gently over the passenger area, then descends in a seamless sweep through the steeply raked rear screen to the sculpted aerodynamic lip at the end of the short rear deck. And because the raked C-pillar stretches so far back into the rear deck area, it visually conceals the size of the trunk in an elegant fashion. The feature line running through the door handles becomes more defined towards the rear, creating a muscular "shoulder" effect below the base of the C-pillar and the rear deck.
The rear is characterized by the steeply raked rear screen, the integrated deck spoiler, and the broad sweep of the sculpted bumper. The design of the tail lights echoes those of other Astra models, and the subtle crease which links them adds width and avoids any impression of bulkiness. The lamps also have an inner wing shape for the taillight function that continues the Opel brand signature. There are more sculptural features within the bumper where the number plate indent reflects the shape of the deck-lid cutout. Together, all these elements combine to create a particularly well-balanced and harmonious automotive design.
The Vice President of Design, Mark Adams, says: "The Astra model family implements our design language with sculptural artistry meeting German precision in a very dynamic fashion. All body style variants have their very own personality. We believe that the Astra four-door sedan we're now launching is the best proportioned and most stylish notchback currently available in the compact segment." Customers who wish to make their four-door sedan visually even more attractive, can choose from a wide offer of wheel designs of sizes up to 19 inches.
Top technology standards and typical Astra qualities in notchback segment
With its sporty, elegant design, typical Astra qualities and a large array of technological highlights – some are unique, some are unusual for the segment - Opel´s new compact four-door notchback targets customers with high expectations. The Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+) with bi-xenon headlamps and a host of sophisticated lighting functions including variable light distribution, curve light, cornering light and high-beam assist greatly enhance active safety. The adaptive FlexRide chassis system automatically adjusts damping to the prevailing driving conditions and gives the driver the choice between three different modes – Standard, the comfort-oriented Tour mode and the more responsive Sport mode. The highly ergonomic AGR ("Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V") approved seats that are easy on the back are available for the driver and the front passenger. Added to that are several infotainment systems which make travelling even more relaxing and safer. The Navi 900 top unit features the routes of more than 30 European countries and a digital travel guide stored on an SD card.
Compact notchbacks offer growth opportunities
The new four-door sedan is an important addition to the latest generation of the successful Astra model family. In Western Europe, especially in Germany and Spain, Opel marketing experts see growth opportunities for the new four-door model as an elegant, more affordable alternative to sedans from the upper segment. Moreover, there is strong demand for compact notchback variants in the high growth markets of Eastern and Central Europe, particularly Russia and Turkey. Russia currently has the second highest sales volume in Europe and is expected to become Europe´s main market with up to 3.4 million total vehicle sales in 2014. Across all segments, more than 60 percent of all sedans sold in Europe are sold in Russia. Last year, in the compact segment 51 percent of customers there opted for a notchback version. Russia is also the third biggest market for the Astra in Europe. Therefore, Opel has decided to celebrate the world premiere of the new member of the Astra model family at the Moscow Auto Salon 2012 (August 29 - September 9).