Vauxhall has revealed the all-new, eighth generation of the Astra. The success story of Vauxhall’s bestseller began over 40 years ago. With the all-new Astra, the British manufacturer is now opening the next chapter: for the first time, the compact class model is available with electric drive. Vauxhall will offer the new Astra in two performance levels as a plug-in hybrid. In addition, there are versions with highly efficient petrol and diesel engines in combination with friction-optimised six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The new Vauxhall Astra is also a design statement for the brand. Dynamic as never before, with sheer, taut surfaces, detoxed of superfluous elements and with the new brand face – the Vauxhall Vizor. With the next compact class generation, Vauxhall shows that the Astra is ready to define a new era.
The new Vauxhall Astra will launch this year as a sporty five-door with a low-slung look and yet more space than its predecessor. With a length of 4,374mm and width of 1,860mm, it hits the sweet-spot of the compact sector.
Thanks to the especially short front overhang, the new Astra is only 4mm longer than the previous model, despite the considerably increased wheelbase of 2,675mm (+13mm). Notwithstanding the muscular, confident stance, the new Astra’s practical boot with adjustable floor still offers the driver and four passengers 422 litres of luggage volume.
Like its predecessor launched in 2015, the newcomer brings innovations to the compact class that customers previously only knew from more expensive vehicles. For example, the Astra can turn night into day: the latest evolution of the adaptive Intelli-Lux LED® Pixel light comes straight from Vauxhall's flagship Insignia and, with 168 LED elements, leads the way in the compact and midsize market sectors.
A leap in time has taken place in the interior of the new generation Astra. With the fully digital Pure Panel, analogue instruments are consigned to history. Instead, the new human-machine-interface (HMI) with fresh, modern graphics offers customers a pure, more intuitive experience. Passengers can operate the new Astra intuitively via extra-wide touchscreens, just like a smartphone. The Vauxhall designers and engineers have taken great care to ensure that the driver receives all the necessary information and useful operating options, but is not burdened with superfluous data or functions. In addition, key settings such as climate control can still be operated via physical switches and buttons.
Typically Vauxhall is also the outstanding seating comfort of the new compact class model. The front seats, developed in-house, are AGR (“Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.”) certified and, with their exemplary ergonomics, are exceedingly comfortable, especially on long journeys. The driver is supported by state-of-the-art assistance systems ranging from the Intelli-HuD head-up display to the semi-automated Intelli-Drive assistance system and the Intelli-Vision 360-degree camera.
Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, 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.”
New interpretation of bold and pure Vauxhall design philosophy
After the Mokka, Crossland and Grandland SUVs, the new Astra is Vauxhall’s first hatchback to interpret the brand’s bold and pure design philosophy. The Vauxhall Vizor (the new face of the brand first seen on the Mokka and the central exterior design element) follows the Vauxhall Compass where the vertical and horizontal axes – the sharp crease in the hood and the wing shaped graphic of the daylight running lamps – intersect with the Vauxhall Griffin emblem in the middle. Stretching across the front, making the new Astra look even wider, the Vizor also seamlessly integrates technologies such as the ultra-slim Intelli-Lux LED® headlamps and the front camera of the Intelli-Vision system. Viewed from the side, the next-generation Astra looks especially dynamic thanks to the pronounced forward rake of the C-pillar.
At the rear, the Vauxhall Compass is repeated by the centrally mounted Griffin, the vertically aligned high-mounted brake lamp and the tail lamps (energy-saving LED, as is all exterior lighting). The Griffin emblem also doubles as the latch for the tailgate, which is made of state-of-the-art composite material. This technology is not only light in weight and rigid, it also allows the precise execution of design details such as the especially slim tail lamps. The Astra is available with two-tone paint
Mark Adams, Vice President Design, Vauxhall, said: “The All-New Astra represents the exciting next step of our new design execution. With its bold Vizor front face, strong muscular wheel arch blisters and sheer surfacing, the All-New Astra has a very sporty and confident personality. The interior also takes a bold step into the future. The strong driver-orientated cockpit with seamless glass look of the new Pure Panel will bring a whole new emotional experience to our customers.”
Next-generation Pure Panel digital cockpit with fully-glazed option
The same technical precision applies throughout the interior where the absolute highlight is the next generation of the Pure Panel, first introduced in the Mokka. This expansive, digital cockpit (optionally fully glazed) features two 10-inch displays, seamlessly integrated – together with the driver’s side air vent – in a horizontal format. Thanks to a shutter-like layer that prevents upward reflections in the windscreen, the design dispenses with a hood over the displays, which further enhances the high-tech functionality and ambience.
With the physical controls reduced to the minimum in the form of finely crafted keys, the Pure Panel achieves the optimum balance between digitisation and intuitive operation, detoxed of irritating visual stimuli and without the need for sub-menus. There is no need for cables either, since the infotainment system – which can be operated by voice recognition as well as by touch – can be connected as standard on all model variants to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via compatible smartphones.
Dynamic yet composed handling, braking and stability
The new Astra is based on the third generation of the highly flexible EMP2 multi-energy architecture, with Vauxhall DNA built in from the start of development. This means that the handling is composed as well as dynamic.
The steering and lateral stiffness of the chassis – McPherson strut suspension at the front, torsion bar at the rear – are designed for high yaw control (damping of the movement around the horizontal axis). Under braking, the new model delivers strong stopping power and remains highly stable in curves as well as in a straight line. The torsional rigidity of new Astra is 14 per cent higher than its predecessor.
Advanced driver assistance systems including semi-automatic lane change
The new Astra’s architecture also incorporates the latest automated driver assistance systems. In addition to the multifunction camera in the windscreen, the technology comprises four body cameras (one at the front, one at the rear and one on each side), five radar sensors (one at the front and one at each corner), as well as ultrasonic sensors front and rear.
Cameras and sensors are integrated with e-horizon connectivity in Intelli-Drive, which extends the range of the cameras and the radar. This enables the system to adapt the speed in curves, make speed recommendations and perform semi-automatic lane changes. Hands-off detection on the steering wheel ensures the driver remains engaged at all times.
The long list of automated driver assistance systems also includes adaptive cruise control, which increases or decreases speed to follow the vehicle ahead – without exceeding the set speed – and can brake to a standstill if necessary. With the automatic transmission, driving resumes automatically thanks to “Stop & Go”.
The offer of class-leading assistance systems additionally features a large Intelli-HuD head-up display, long-range blind-spot detection, Intelli-Vision 360o camera for easier parking, extended traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert and active lane positioning, which keeps the car in the middle of the driving lane.
New Astra brings premium Intelli-Lux Pixel Light® to compact market sector
The Astra’s role as advanced technology carrier continues in lighting and seats, typical areas of expertise for the Vauxhall brand. The previous model played a pioneering role in the introduction of adaptive matrix light in 2015 and the next-generation is now bringing the newest development in lighting to the compact market sector for the first time – Intelli-Lux LED® Pixel Light. This state-of-the-art technology, already available on Vauxhall’s Grandland SUV and Insignia flagships, features a segment-leading total of 168 LED elements – 84 in each ultra-slim headlamp. The main beam adjusts seamlessly in milliseconds, without glare for other road users. Approaching or preceding traffic is “cut out” precisely. The range and direction of the light vary according to the driving situation and surroundings.
Best-in-class AGR ergonomic seats with massage and ventilation
Vauxhall’s ergonomic AGR seats enjoy an award-winning reputation and the new Astra continues this long-standing tradition. Certified by “Aktion Gesunder Rücken e. V.” (“Campaign for Healthy Backs”) the position of the front seats is 12mm lower than in the previous model, further enhancing the feeling of a “sporty” drive. Good posture is guaranteed, with the foam density of the seats optimised according to the “Sport” or “Comfort” contours.
The new Astra’s AGR front seats are the best the compact class has to offer and feature a wide range of optional adjustments, from electric tilt to electro-pneumatic lumbar support. In Nappa leather-trim, they even offer ventilation, massage for the driver and heating at the rear as well as the front. Seats trimmed in stylish Alcantara are also available.
Astra goes electric for the first time with powerful plug-in hybrids
The new Astra will be available from the start of sales with powerful plug-in hybrid electric drive as well as highly efficient petrol and diesel engines, electrifying Vauxhall’s compact class model for the first time in the brand’s history. Power ranges from 81kW (110PS) to 96kW (130PS) with the petrol and diesel variants and up to 165kW (225PS) system output with the plug-in hybrid variants. A six-speed gearbox is standard on the petrol and diesel power units, with an eight-speed automatic transmission (electrified on the plug-in hybrids) optional on the more powerful engines.
Vauxhall will open the order books for the new Astra this autumn. The first customers will take delivery of their cars early next year. Further details including UK pricing and specification will be announced at the on sale date.
*Article by Vauxhall Media, Published 13th July 2021