Opel (or Vauxhall if you are from UK) will launch a better competitor for Ford Focus: the next generation Astra that is set to be unveiled in 18 months’ time, with the first concept car previewing the new Astra to be unveiled at a major motor show in 2009.
The new Astra will follow in the footsteps of the Vectra-replacing Insignia – which debuts at July’s British Motor Show in London – as well as the redesigned Meriva, due in dealers here early in 2009.
The Astra’s nose will be inspired by the Insignia, and wears bold headlights and deep air intakes, while at the rear there is a squat Seat Leon-style tail, as well as distinctive C-pillars. As well as the five-door shown here, there will be a three-door Sport Hatch model. And as is the case with the current generation, this car will be completely different from its more practical brother, with a rakish tailgate and lower roofline creating a coupé-like profile.
The next Astra will be powered by a wide range of small-capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel powerplants. The VXR version will be powered by a 250bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine.
The next Astra will also be sold in USA as a Saturn.