Image credits: © Opel. GM Corp
2010 Opel Astra news, pictures, and information
New Opel Astra: Sculpted and engineered for the compact class•Spirited: Athletic sculptured design promises a thrilling driving experience
•Agile: New mechatronic chassis raises bar in class for handling and comfort
•Efficient: Clean and powerful engine range lowers carbon footprint
•Úpscale: Exceptional technologies and innovations in the compact class
Frankfurt/Rüsselsheim. Designed for sporty good-looks, engineered wîth innovative technology and equipped wîth a full clean powertrain line-up, the all-new Opel Astra, debuting as a five-door hatchback, is set to re-energize Europe's compact car §egmènt.
Grounded in the compact class tradition Opel initiated in 1936 wîth the first Kadett, the Astra has consistently made the top three list of Europe's best-selling compacts – a §egmènt which accounts for 27 percent of the total car market. Astra sales make up a third of all Opel/Vauxhall purchases, for an average volume of nearly 500,000 units per year.
The new Astra brings many comfort and safety features to the compact class that the Insignia first introduced to mid-sized cars. Exceptional technologies like an all-new mechatronic chassis, the most advanced lighting system, a front camera that recognizes traffic signs and seat technology wîth the best ergonomics will be available.
'The new Astra raises the bar in its class wîth exciting design, dynamic driving and great practical features,' says Alain Visser, Vice President Sales, Marketing & Aftersales Opel/Vauxhall.
Opel's new design language reinterpreted for the compact class
The new Opel Astra brings into the compact class its own interpretation of the brand's award-winning design language of combining sculptural artistry wîth German precision first seen in the Insignia. Its strong coupé-like silhouette and stylish details add to a new handsome look. Elegant proportions give it a strong, cab-forward silhouette, wîth a steeply-raked windshield and falling rear roofline, adding visual excitement to the traditional hatchback format.
Also new to the Astra are double wing-shapes in each of the rear lights and a dynamic inverted blade on the flank that visually connects to the powerful movement of the rear window and C-pillar.
'The design cues introduced in the Insignia, like the wing and the blade, have been given a fresh interpretation in the Astra, because it's important that each Opel model has its own personality,' says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design, General Motors Europe.
The interior echoes the flowing forms of the bodywork: sweeping lines, curvaceous shapes and the quality of the execution are all part of Opel's design language. A signature design cue is the wraparound wing shape of the instrument panel that arcs into the top of the door moldings. The effect is a warm embrace of the occupants, providing a welcoming ambience.
New mechatronic chassis system: Watt's link in rear axle
The Opel Astra's chassis has been developed as a mechatronic system that fully integrates mechanical functions and electronic controls. The new Astra retains the fun-to-drive character of the previous model, wîth significant improvements in §teering response and ride comfort. While the chassis has the proven McPherson strut layout at the front, Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim are the first in the world to combine a compound crank rear axle wîth a Watts link.
The Astra benefits from an all new rear axle. Keeping the advantages of size, weight and overall efficiency of the compound crank rear axle layout design. Opel engineers added a cleverly positioned Watts link. This supports lateral forces on the suspension while cornering. It also makes the car dynamic and agile without compromising on stability and comfort.
FlexRide adaptive suspension offers the additional option of driver-selective ride control and personalization. Like the Insignia, it can be ordered wîth the clever Opel FlexRide electronic driving system, a rarity in this class, which offers the driver three settings – standard, Sport and Tour – while continuously adapting to changes in driving style and cornering speed.
Driving dynamics are improved by wider front and rear tracks, increased by 56 mm and 70 mm respectively. While the wheelbase is 71 mm longer, the proportionately greater increases in track give the car a wider footprint, which contributes to more stable handling and an inherently better road-holding capability.
A core body structure stiffer than that of its predecessor provides a firm base for optimizing the new Astra's handling and ride capabilities. In addition, this helps reduce noise and vibration inside the cabin.
Clean engine line-up reduces emissions by 12 percent
The new Astra will launch wîth a complete line-up of eight engines ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 132 kW/180 hp, perfectly illustrating Opel's philosophy of providing drivers wîth affordable, real-life efficiency.
The Astra's line-up of powertrains wîth manual transmission provides impressive performance and overall cuts CO2 emissions by more than 12 percent compared wîth the current generation. The average fuel consumption of the diesel engines is 4.6 l/100 km and only 6.1 l/100 km for the gasoline line-up.
The four diesel engines, which are expected to represent almost half of the new Astra cars sold in Europe at launch, deliver 95 to 160 hp. They all consume under 5.0 l/100 km and do not emit more than 129 g/km CO2 when equipped wîth the manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The gasoline range comprises naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 1.4 and 1.6-liter engines, giving a power bandwidth from 74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. The entry level version in the gasoline line-up emits only 129 g/km CO2.
Innovative technologies brought to the compact §egmènt
'Opel's mission to make high tech innovations accessible has proven to be successful in the Insignia. We've set ourselves an even more ambitious goal in bringing most of these features to the compact §egmènt wîth the new Astra,' says Hans Demant, Managing Director of Opel.
Other innovative technical features introduced to the compact class in the new Astra:
•A new generation of bi-xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+) that changes its intensity and reach to suit prevailing driving and road conditions using nine different lighting functions.
•The Opel Eye front camera system, which recognizes road signs and warns the driver when the car inadvertently departs from its lane.
•Ergonomic Sport Seats can extend 280 millimeters in length to accommodate long legs. They offer cushion extension, cushion tilt function, 4-way lumbar support and a body-supporting seat contour using high-density foam. It is the only seat in the compact class to receive the much coveted seal of approval from Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (Action for Healthy Backs, known as AGR), an independent panel of ergonomics experts and doctors in Germany.
•FlexFloor, which enables easy stowage of a wide variety of cargo. The trunk floor is moveable and can be positioned at three levels by engaging ergonomically-designed fixtures near each corner of the trunk.
•FlexFix, Opel's innovative bike-carrier, is integrated behind the rear bumper and offered as an option on the new Astra hatchback. It makes transporting bikes easy and convenient because it slides out of the rear bumper like a drawer when a release lever near the lip of the trunk is pulled.
The exterior of the new generation Opel Astra, which debuts in September 2009 at the IAA in Frankfurt, boasts a strong cab-forward, fluid silhouette. Inside, high quality materials and a total re-think of the design add to the excitement of driving a compact car. Moreover, Opel has added innovative extras - higher quality materials, more storage, improved seats and safer bumpers - to give the Opel Astra comfort, health and safety features not usually seen in the compact class.
'The design of the new Opel Astra takes all the best Opel has to offer and delivers it to the compact class,' says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design for GM Europe. 'We have built a five-door hatchback that is as beautiful as it is safe, comfortable and practical.'
Exterior design gives Opel philosophy a new twistDesigners have given Opel's new philosophy an interpretation fitting for the compact class using the same wing and blade styling cues first introduced on the mid-sized Insignia. Sculpted into the side panels of the new generation Opel Astra, the blade sweeps rear ward and upward, connecting wîth the side window line, giving the car balance and harmony. Eagle eye-shaped headlamps that encompass the prominent signature wing daytime running lights give the Opel Astra face a low, sporty character.
A graceful flowing silhouette connects the muscular shoulder lines wîth an
expressive rear to make it sporty yet elegant. On the front fascia, the next generation Opel Astra re-interprets the new Opel face by using the small upper grille to frame the new Opel logo, while emphasizing the bigger, bolder lower opening so as to create a sportier look.
Inside, design cues used to create driver-focused styling
Echoing the flowing forms of the bodywork, the hallmarks of the interior are sweeping lines and shapes that are executed wîth care. Interior designers achieve that, for instance, by creating bold, dynamic shapes that use materials intelligently. Everything drivers and passengers touch has been given a refined, high quality feel. In addition, Opel has created two new progressive interior color and trim combination - Spice Red and Ocean Blue - especially for the Opel Astra.
The interior also continues Opel's recurring wing and blade motifs. In this execution, the blade theme is expressed in details like the shape of the door grab handles and the trim for gearshift molding and §teering wheel. The wing design cue is immediately evident in the warm, inviting wraparound instrument panel that embraces front seat occupants. It arcs across the cabin into the top of the door moldings.
Health, safety and comfort added via storage, seats and bumper improvements
The Opel Astra has added practicality through greatly increased storage and clever solutions for a compact class car that include a mini glove box on the driver's side and a drawer under the front passenger seat.
New, high quality seat technology brings added comfort and help to backs. In addition, safety was a major consideration in design. A new, intelligent bumper is intended to minimize damage in front and rear collisions, reducing injury to pedestrians and passengers and saving money in repairs and insurance.
Execution matched by great components and perceptual quality
Opel designers and engineers believe quality execution also must be matched by what the customer sees and feels. Such perceptual quality is particularly important in the interior, where the appearance and tactile properties of all materials must be on a par wîth their high standard of fit and finish.
The quality of the materials used in the new Astra is evident in such things as the grained, soft-touch surfaces, the textured panels, the quality of the décor, the chrome trim elements, and the feel of operating buttons and switches.
Quality in execution, quality in the materials used and quality as perceived by the customer add up to the new Opel Astra's upscale appearance. Together they deliver the sculptural artistry and German precision of Opel's new design language.Source - Opel
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