Vauxhall’s all-new, eighth-generation Astra has broken cover and the old girl has been given some electrification for the first time in its 40 year history…
Just as Adam and his faithful Ants were standing and delivering, Vauxhall’s leading lady set out on her travels but the British manufacturer is now opening the next chapter: for the first time, the compact class model is available with electric drive.
Keen to prove its heading in the right direction, Vauxhall has adopted the much-talked-about ‘Vizor’ front end, transforming the new Astra into something more desirable. Low slung and more space than its predecessor with a length of 4,374mm, width of 1,860mm, and short front overhang mean the new Astra is only 4mm longer than the previous model, despite the considerably increased wheelbase of 2,675mm (+13mm).
The interior has been treated to a futuristic upgrade with a fully digital Pure Panel, while those historic analogue instruments we all love to flick up and down have been relegated to the history books. That said, climate control can still be operated via physical switches and buttons.
Instead, the new human-machine interface (HMI) with fresh, modern graphics offers customers a pure, more intuitive experience. As if you didn’t have enough to contend with, passengers can even operate the new Astra intuitively via an additional extra-wide touchscreen, just like any smartphone.
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.”
Other features include cameras and sensors 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 new Astra will be available with a plug-in hybrid electric drive as well as 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.
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