New era for Vauxhall

as Astra plugs-in

Vauxhall Astra, 2021, front
Vauxhall Astra, 2021, front, action
Vauxhall Astra, 2021, side
Vauxhall Astra, 2021, rear
Vauxhall Astra, 2021, interior
Vauxhall Astra, 2021, badge

THE wraps have come off the eighth generation Vauxhall Astra which for the first time will be available with an electrified powertrain among its engine options.

The new Astra will be on the road early next year and will be powered by two plug-in hybrid options as well as conventional petrol and diesel engines.

Sporting Vauxhall's latest design features it is slightly bigger than the current model and has the company's new Vizor grille at the front as well as crisper and sharper lines all round.

It also has Vauxhall's Pure Panel interior design - first seen on the latest Mokka SUV - which uses two touchscreens and a digitised instrument panel.

Measuring 4.37 metres long and 1.86 metres wide it is some 4mm longer than the outgoing model which was launched in 2015 and has a longer wheelbase of 2.65 metres.

Boot space is increased to 422 litres which is significantly larger than that of the Astra's key competitors, the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf.

The Astra shares much of its underpinnings with the Peugeot 308 with both the French model and the Vauxhall now being part of the Stellantis Group which also includes Citroen, DS and Fiat group models.

Full powertrain specifications are still to be confirmed but it is likely the Astra will be fitted with 1.2-litre PureTech three cylinder petrol engines and a 1.5-litre four cylinder diesel as used in other models.

The plug-in hybrid will have a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor - a similar arrangement to that used in the 308 - which develops either 178 or 222bhp with a zero emission range of around 30 miles.

The PHEV has an eight-speed automatic transmission while the petrol and diesel versions are likely to be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or auto gearboxes.

Other features include the Vauxhall Intelli-Lux LED lighting system, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking set up and a head-up display as well as blind spot detection and active lane positioning.

Prices are still to be confirmed but can be expected to show a slight increase over the current model which will see the range starting from around £22,000 with the plug-in variants costing in the region of £30,000.

Paul Willcox, Vauxhall's managing director, said: "The All-New Astra arrives with sensational design and class-leading levels of technology.

"With the choice of an electrified powertrain, the all-new Astra has been developed with utmost precision, down to the smallest detail. We are confident the next generation Astra has all it takes to become another best seller and continue to attract new customers to the brand."

Since its launch some 40 years ago the Astra has become one of Britain's favourite cars, regularly featuring in the top ten in the sales charts.

Vauxhall says further details, including precise pricing and specification will be announced later.

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