After teasing their fans , the German Automaker Opel has just revealed official details about the new Astra , a vehicle that will make its world debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The car’s exterior is easily identifiable as an Opel, while the interior features the latest in technology.
The new Astra line-up will be full of options. There will be 8 different engine choices, all of which are shifted by six speed transmissions. The diesel options range from 1.3 to 2.0 Liters making anywhere from 95 HP up to 160 HP. While gas burners will displace from 1.4 to 1.6 Liters pumping out from 100 HP to 180 HP.
The new generation Astra is built on a whole new platform, featuring a longer wheelbase, wider track and a reengineered rear axle. Like the Insignia it comes with the fuel saving Opel FlexRide electronic aide that offers the driver the option to drive in Standard, Sport and Touring mode.
Press release after the jump.
Integrating German engineering excellence, fluid sculptural design and accessible innovative technologies, the new Opel Astra captures the philosophy which quickly made the Insignia Europe’s best-selling mid-sized sedan. Opel’s new compact will premiere September 17 in Frankfurt at the IAA as a dynamic five-door hatchback with elegant touches that profits from the best of Opel engineering for a thrilling driving experience.
The next generation 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 with the best ergonomics will be available.
“Opel’s unique expertise of making new technologies accessible in compact cars is really highlighted with this tenth generation. In addition, the new Astra carries the spirit of the Insignia into the compact segment with unprecedented passion and commitment to excellence,” says Alain Visser, Vice President of Opel.
At 4.42 meters, the new Astra offers increased passenger space and wellness in both the front and rear thanks to a 71 mm longer wheel base. Its slim and sleek body is designed for maximum efficiency in close collaboration between the designers and aerodynamic engineers who put the car through 600 hours of testing in a wind tunnel.
Elegant proportions give it a strong, cab-forward silhouette, with a steeply-raked windshield and falling rear roofline, adding visual excitement to the traditional hatchback format. The brand’s new design language – sculptural artistry combined with German precision – is now seen in a fresh way.
“The design themes 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. “This is why you see double wings 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 interior uses the same wing and blade design cues as the exterior, creating harmony inside and out. A special effort, too, has been made to add multiple flexible storage solutions.
“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 segment with the new Astra,” says Hans Demant, Managing Director of Opel.
Developed in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the Opel Astra also comes with an all-new chassis. Its longer wheelbase combines with wider tracks and a new rear axle construction to further enhance agility and stability with no compromise to comfort.
The Opel Astra’s chassis has been developed as a mechatronic system that fully integrates mechanical functions and electronic controls. Like the Insignia, it can come with the clever Opel FlexRide electronic driving system, a rarity in this class, which offers the driver three settings – standard, Sport and Tour – while being fully and continuously adaptive to changes in driving style and cornering speed.
Other innovative technical features introduced to the compact class by the new Astra:
- A new generation of bi-xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+) that changes its intensity and reach to suit prevailing drive 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 front seats, developed for optimal back support and safety.
The powertrain line-up focuses on efficient performance and features eight Euro 5 compliant engines. All except the lowest powered units are equipped with six-speed transmissions. One new compact automatic gear box with Active Select function will debut.
The CDTI turbo diesel line-up includes four common-rail, multiple injection units from 1.3 to 2.0 liter with outputs ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 118 kW/160 hp. All are equipped with a Diesel Particulate Filter. An ecoFLEX version with particularly low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will naturally be part of the program.
The four gasoline engines with 1.4 and 1.6 liter give a power bandwidth from 74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. A new, downsized 103 kW/140 hp 1.4 Turbo replaces the current naturally-aspirated 1.8. Thanks to exceptional high-tech features in this displacement range, the 1.4 Turbo develops 14 percent more torque yet maintains sensibly lower fuel consumption.
Grounded in the compact class tradition Opel initiated in 1936 with the Olympia Kadett, the Astra has consistently made the top-three list of Europe’s best-selling compacts – a segment 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 Opel Astra brings into the compact class its own interpretation of the brand’s award-winning design language of combining sculptural artistry with German precision first seen in the Insignia. Its strong coupé-like silhouette and elegant details add to a new handsome look.
"The design themes 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."
At 4.42 m the new Opel Astra grows by some 17 cm compared with the previous generation, positioning itself between the small Corsa (4 m) and the midsize Insignia (4.83 m). The wheelbase grew by 7.1 cm while track increased by 5.6 cm in the front and 7 cm in the rear allowing for more passenger space, creating more comfort in both the front and the rear and providing enhanced dynamic stability.
The exterior of the new generation Astra boasts a sporty, fluid silhouette, with strong cab-forward proportions. Inside, high quality materials and a total re-think of the design add to the excitement of driving a dynamic compact car. Moreover, Opel has packed the car with innovative extras – high quality materials, class leading storage, ergonomic seat technology and intelligent bumpers – to give the Astra driver comfort, health and safety features not usually seen in the compact class.
“Sculptural artistry meets German precision was our design claim with the Insignia and it continues in a consistent yet fresh sporty interpretation for the new Astra” says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design. “The present Astra generation already combines a high level of technical substance with a sporty design but with the new generation Astra, we use our new design language to create a more emotional design that emphasizes its sporty credentials.”
Exterior design gives Opel philosophy a new twist
Designers have used the same wing and blade styling cues first introduced on the mid-sized Insignia. Sculpted into the side panels of the new generation Astra like a tendon, the blade sweeps rearward and upward, connecting with the rear side window and giving the car balance and harmony. Prominent wing-shaped signature daytime running lights are encompassed into new eagle eye-shaped headlamps which give the Astra face a low, sporty character.
A graceful flowing silhouette connects the muscular shoulder lines with an expressive rear to make it sporty yet elegant. On the front fascia, the next generation Astra re-interprets the new Opel face which debuted with the Insignia by using a smaller upper grille that frames the new Opel logo, while emphasizing the bigger, bolder lower opening so as to create a lower 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 with 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.
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 steering 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.
In addition to more classical color combinations, Opel has created especially for the Astra two new progressive colors and trim offers: Spice Red and Ocean Blue, which add a bold accent between door and Instrument panel.
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 back.
Naturally, safety and cost of ownership were major considerations in design in and out. A new, intelligent bumper is intended to minimize damage in front and rear collisions, reducing injury to pedestrians and passengers and saving great money in repairs and insurance (see Spotlight text on the new bumpers for the Astra).
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 with 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 Astra’s upscale appearance. Together they deliver the sculptural artistry and German precision of Opel’s new design language.
As a result of close collaboration between the interior engineering and design teams, the Astra has a roomier cabin, offering greater occupant space, increased onboard storage facilities and gains in crash safety that benefit both occupants and pedestrians. Together, this gives new Astra customers a pleasant feel and superb experience.
In order to achieve this, the team took a real-life engineering approach and started with requirements they derived from customer feedback. Their aim was to provide an interior that meets occupants’ needs in terms of space, ergonomics, comfort and well-being.
The wellness factor begins with the interior. The Astra’s footprint increased, incorporating a 71 mm longer wheelbase. The surprising size of the Astra’s generous rear passenger space is revealed upon opening the rear doors. Shoulder width front and rear is increased by 29 mm and 2 mm respectively, while hip room front and rear is up by 50 mm and 13 mm.
The cab-forward layout of the Astra gives the driver and passengers an open and airy feel. The interior offers a great sense of friendliness as well as increased space and practicality. To support the quality feel, much attention has been paid to detail. The wing-shaped, wrap-around upper edge of the fascia is made of a soft, low reflection tactile material and the sense of space is enhanced by the fact that the base of the steeply raked windscreen is pushed forward, far from the driver. The welcoming nature of the wrap around interior is accentuated by ambient lighting in the Sport and Cosmo versions. At night, red diffused light nicely illuminates the base of the center stack and the front door panels.
Best in class storage
"The Astra has a roomier cabin, offering greater occupant space, increased onboard storage facilities and gains in crash safety that benefit both occupants and pedestrians."
Flexible, convenient and fitting storage is a major asset on the new Astra. No other sedan in the segment offers as much accessible storage space. Opel engineers surveyed customers and potential customers throughout Europe, asking them exactly what items they normally carried or wanted to carry in their cars and where they would like to have them stored. These “right intuitive places” for the 20 most requested items – like pens, coins, sunglasses, wallet or a mobile phone – were packaged into the new Astra interior before it was actually designed. The result is a natural symbiosis of aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible storage.
To take a few examples: The base center console carries six CDs in the rear bin, two cup-holders and an optional waste can. Replacing the conventional parking brake with an optional Electric Parking Brake (EPB) also frees up extra storage space in the center console and is most convenient to operate.
This console offers the flexibility to choose store two cup-holders — which are nicely covered — a double floored storage and even a 1-liter bottle without compromising the comfort position of the armrest. A waste can, increased CD storage below the armrest, a flip out 12V socket and a small storage bin for the rear passengers complete the versatility of the FlexConsole.
The driver has a pull-out storage tray large enough to carry a wallet and glasses case. A space in the center stack can accommodate mobile phones or MP3 players and provides 12V/AUX-In and optional USB sockets. The Astra glove box offers variable space with a removable divider and useful features as pen-, coin- and credit card holders. The appealing door pockets take large bottles up to 1.5-liter in the front and up to 1-liter bottles in the rear.
In the front an optional drawer fits underneath the passenger seat which accommodates a road map, women’s high heels or a netbook.
In the rear, owners can choose the FlexFloor, for clever trunk storage configuration and FlexFix, the integrated onboard bike carrier.
The 40/60, folding seat-back offers up to 795 liters load capacity and can be supplemented by an interior versatility pack, which includes a ski hatch and a center armrest with storage space and two cup holders.
FlexFloor, the flexible trunk floor
Adaptable stowage for a wide range of cargo – from shopping bags to large boxes or sports gear – is provided by the easy-to-use FlexFloor feature. The trunk floor is moveable and can be positioned at three levels by engaging ergonomically designed slots near each corner of the trunk. In any position, the floor can hold up to 100 kilograms of weight.
- In its highest position, FlexFloor brings the height of the trunk floor up to bumper level, making it easy to load and unload heavy items with minimal effort and reduced risk of back injuries. In this position, it also provides a separated storage compartment, 157 mm deep (126 liters), located under the visible floor level.
- In its middle position, the trunk floor nicely aligns with the height of the folded rear seat backs, providing a flat-bed cargo area for ease of use. Underneath, a 55 mm deep stowage area (52 liters) is available for slimmer items, such as sports clothing and kit, or the removable back shelf.
- In its lowest position, the FlexFloor fits directly on top of the fixed floor and unveils its large load compartment.
- This flexible floor can also be used as a practical cargo space divider.
FlexFix, the exclusive integrated bike carrier
Opel’s innovative FlexFix bike carrier is integrated behind the rear bumper. This exclusive feature in the segment can be ordered as an option in the new Astra hatchback. Following Opel philosophy to provide customers with optimal on-board versatility, FlexFix makes transporting bikes easy and convenient, eliminating the need to fit a rack on the tow hitch or lift bikes onto the car roof. The FlexFix carrier can carry up to two bikes and slides out from the rear bumper like a drawer when a release lever near the lip of the trunk is pulled. Maximum weight capacity of the carrier is 40 kilograms. It can accommodate bikes with wheel sizes up to 28 inches. No fixing tools or special parts are required and, when not in use, FlexFix is pushed back to stow almost invisibly behind the bumper.
The seat engineers in Rüsselsheim have designed the seats of the new Astra to be the best in the compact class. They’re more comfortable, better for the back and safer than ever before.
The front seats offer the industry’s best range of adjustment. All driver and front passenger seats have a fore/aft movement of 280 mm, which benefits both front and rear occupants. The seat-backs are also 15 mm slimmer than before, further benefiting rear legroom.
With a seat height adjustment for the driver of 65 mm and a steering wheel adjustable for height and reach, the new Astra offers an ideal seating position for virtually all drivers, regardless of their size.
Apart from excellent comfort and support, the new Astra’s seats also provide a high level of safety. Latest generation active head restraints, offering protection against whiplash neck injury, come as standard for the front seats in all trim levels except Essentia. High-strength steel in the seat frames also increases rigidity and reduces weight, saving up to three kilograms per car.
The floor mounting rails also offer a more secure front seat location. Asymmetrically arranged, spring-loaded pins always lock the seat correctly in position and are designed to prevent the possibility of the seat not being fully locked after adjustment.
Medically approved AGR ergonomic sport front seats
Ergonomic Sport Seats are offered as an option for all trim levels, with powered lumbar support. The driver’s seat features a 6-way adjustment (fore/aft, up/down and cushion tilt), a 4-way power adjustment of the lumbar support and an extendable seat cushion, together with seat-back rake adjustment. The front passenger seat offers the same range of configuration, except for seat cushion tilt.
With enhanced bolstering and whole body comfort, the driver’s seat has received a 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. No other car in the segment has ever managed to get this certification.
For Cosmo and Sport, AGR seats also are available in leather, together with heating for the front seats.
The sound of silence
Interior noise measurements indicate the Astra’s cabin is among the quietest in its class. The quiet interior of the new Astra was achieved by the excellent cross-functional development work of the noise and vibration experts. To achieve this high level of comfort, numerous detailed measures were implemented in all development phases.
In the early design stage, virtual engineering work was performed to define acoustic enablers with virtual models when hardware was not yet available. Later on the vehicle performance was refined by hardware testing and will continue to be up until the start of production to meet high customer expectations.
Some of these acoustic measures include:
- Body structure and engine mount optimization. Early on, engineers decided to use components, like engine mounts, normally found in the midsize segment. These help lower noise during time, for instance, when the Astra is idling or when it is driving away. In addition the design and dimension of the engine mounting and the body structure have been optimized. Local body structure stiffness at the engine mount attachment points increased up to 50 percent over the previous generation. This is a prerequisite for a much lower noise level in the interior and improved driving comfort.
- Component sound like door closure sound. The doors in the new Astra sound solid when they shut, indicating a high quality of assembly. Opel development engineers translated this sound into a kind of technical language to optimize the relevant components. The NVH experts (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) optimized the loudness and the frequency behavior of the sound to achieve the targets of a midsize vehicle like the Insignia. In addition many NVH components have been refined to match customers’ expectations of the sound quality.
- Acoustic treatment. In addition, an extraordinary package of sealing and insulation parts has been designed to support the noise impression even in the higher frequency range where the customer perceives high frequent component-, road- and engine noise. Structure sealing has been optimized by closing hollow beams and box sections with cavity fillers. The high damping performance of the body is achieved by small, melt-in pads which were optimized in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle. The acoustic transparency of the cabin is refined by polyester felt inserted in the doors as a noise absorber, by triple sealing of all door openings and by improved absorbing headlining.
- Road noise performance. In order to provide excellent road noise performance, engineers released a tire and wheel program to optimize both vehicle dynamic requirements and noise behavior. NVH experts together with the vehicle dynamic group were also able to use the new compound crank axle with Watt’s link suspension to refine the body structure excitation. This overall excellent road noise performance makes the new Opel Astra outstanding in the compact car segment.
Cool cabin and exclusive climate control systems.
The dual zone, automatic Electronic Climate Control (ECC) in the new Astra was developed in-house and represents a first in the industry. Unlike conventional air conditioning units, the Astra ECC does not operate along the principle of temperature compensation where the temperature is measured and readjusted, but along the principle of predictive and adaptive equation models. The ECC is controlled by a microprocessor which computes the onboard climate and adjusts it to match the desired values. The performance data for the equation control include more than 200 characteristics, while a conventional unit with electronic control used by competitors has about only 20 characteristics. This system saves energy while circulating large volumes of air throughout the cabin quietly and efficiently, with a balanced distribution of flow. At the same time, the cabin climate remains more stable, even under changing external conditions. Sophisticated sensing involves the measurement of ambient outside air temperature, vehicle speed, sun intensity and direction, and the interior temperature at a number of different points in the cabin.
Dual zone ECC also features air vents with a comfort setting that provides “diffused ventilation”, a refinement new to the Astra’s segment. This setting is selected by the thumbwheel at the bottom of each vent and locks the vanes of the vent in a diversified position that diffuses the airflow, eliminating any possible discomfort from air being channeled in a single direction. It is a refinement previously offered only in premium class vehicles.
Manually controlled air conditioning, with a particulate filter, is standard for Enjoy, and fan-assisted heating, with a particulate and odor filter, is standard for Essentia. All systems include rear floor heating and ventilation ducts for the rear passengers.
"The previous Astra was fun to take through curves, but its ride was jittery. The new one has even more precision and resistance to understeer, while at the same time showing the sort of ride comfort that makes the VW Golf the class-leader for long-distance use." (MotorTrend)
The chassis on the new Opel Astra has been developed as a mechatronic system that fully integrates mechanical functions and electronic controls. The goal of Opel engineers was to retain the fun-to-drive character of the previous model, while significantly improving its steering response and ride comfort.
While the chassis has the proven McPherson strut layout from the Insignia at the front, it benefits from a major innovation at the rear: Opel engineers are the first in the world to combine a compound crank rear axle with a cleverly positioned Watt’s link, enabling crisp handling and high comfort. Keeping the advantages of size, weight and overall efficiency of the compound crank rear axle layout over a classical multi-link design, the new architecture with its additional Watt’s link better supports lateral forces on the suspension while cornering. It also makes the car dynamic and agile without compromising on stability and comfort. This innovative architecture has been patented by Opel.
In addition, an adaptive suspension, a rarity in the compact segment, is available in the new Opel Astra. This FlexRide system which first appeared in the Insignia offers the additional option of driver-selected ride control.
Driving dynamics are improved by wider front and rear tracks, which 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. At the same time, it allows ample passenger space inside the cabin and a muscular appearance on the outside.
An increase of 43 percent in torsional stiffness and 10 percent in bending stiffness compared to that of its predecessor also provides the new Astra with a firm base for optimizing its handling and ride capabilities. In addition, it reduces significantly noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
FlexRide adaptive chassis debuts in the compact class
Opel was the first automobile manufacturer to bring an advanced adaptive damping system to the compact class in 2003 when it introduced its IDS+ in the previous Astra. Now with FlexRide, the brand is the first to offer a new generation of mechatronic chassis system with a full integration of all mechanical functions and electronic controls from the beginning of development, to the segment. FlexRide was launched last year with the Opel Insignia . The electronic brain behind FlexRide is the Driving Mode Control (DMC) module. Using vehicle dynamics information, the DMC constantly monitors prevailing road conditions, vehicle movements and individual driving style, including acceleration, braking and cornering, to optimize chassis behavior. All four dampers, the steering system and the throttle progression are electronically controlled and continuously adapt within milliseconds to the current driving situation, providing optimum balance between performance, comfort fun and safety.
By pressing the relevant button in the center stack, FlexRide also enables drivers to select “Tour” or “Sport” chassis and vehicle settings that match their own driving needs for a particular journey. Thanks to the very wide damper operating window, the system always finds the right answer to daily driving conditions.
In the Standard mode, the dampers are continuously adapted to the driving situation, offering the optimal compromise between comfort and efficiency.
The Tour setting provides a perceivable increase in comfort: The dampers are set in a softer mode and the car adopts a smoother ride.
The Sport mode offers a sharper, more connected driving experience. The action of the dampers is stiffened up; the electronic throttle provides a swifter pedal response and the level of power steering assistance is reduced. To underline the effect, the instrument panel illumination changes from white to red. With an automatic transmission, the up-shift points are also raised to a higher engine speed. Last but not least, if fitted, the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+) system reacts even more quickly. As a further refinement, the Sport mode includes a customization menu accessible via the board computer or navigation display, allowing the driver to de-select the Sport setting for the dampers, steering assistance or the throttle response.
Apart from a more rewarding driving experience, FlexRide also offers safety benefits in emergency situations. For example, if an obstacle must be avoided even when the car is in Tour mode, the DMC interprets the information from the various chassis sensors, registers the driver’s swift action on the steering wheel and commands the dampers to stiffen within a millisecond, enhancing the vehicle stability.
The FlexRide system is available as an option in the Enjoy, Sport and Cosmo variants with all engines, except the naturally-aspirated gasoline 1.4 and the 1.3 CDTI units.
Suspension: Innovative rear axle layout with Watt’s link and front McPherson
The chassis layout on the new Opel Astra combines a McPherson front suspension similar to the one on the Insignia and a newly developed compound crank rear axle with a Watt’s link.
This innovative rear suspension layout reduces unwanted noise and vibrations, allows a comfortable ride and improves the vehicle’s handling. Compared to a multi-link axle, it retains all the advantages of the compound crank, yet it is lighter and more compact. It also provides greater wheel camber stiffness, compensates for body roll and keeps constant track width. In addition, it greatly enhances lateral stability.
The Watt’s link is carried on a small cross-member attached to the underbody, just behind the rear wheel center line. It consists of a short, pivoting center link with ball joints at each end, to which the lateral links from the wheels are bolted.
On the road, this link helps the trailing arms resist the impact of lateral loadings and road shocks. The action of the pivot and its links ensures that when a force is applied to either rear wheel, an equal force is simultaneously applied in the opposite direction to the other wheel. This effectively prevents any sideways movement of the axle. Opel engineers estimate that this link absorbs about 80 percent of all lateral loadings on the rear suspension.
An additional advantage of the Watt’s link is that it reduces axle bush loads and therefore allows the use of softer bushings. This is why comfort, road noise and isolation are all greatly improved. Last but not least, the Watt’s link has also enabled an improvement in the geometry of the trailing arms.
The torsion beam of the compound crank is attached between the trailing links, slightly ahead of the rear wheels. The open, U-shaped profile between the attachment points has now been lengthened and the wall thickness generally increased to provide more roll stiffness. Beams with different wall thickness are fitted to give the required roll steer characteristics in combination with a certain setting of the opening of the U-shaped profile. The perfect adjustment of wall thickness and a certain profile setting defines the wished suspension tuning - more comfortable or sporty or, for instance, adapted to the higher weight of a diesel engine.
The front suspension consists of McPherson struts with de-coupled top mountings that separate the paths of spring and damper loadings. To reduce unsprung weight and assist weight distribution, the combined strut carrier and the lower control arm are made of aluminum; the anti-roll bar is in hollow section steel.
For optimum stability, the L-shaped control arm is attached to the front sub-frame through two bushings. The suspension geometry and the tuning of the bushings are designed to provide both lateral stiffness and longitudinal compliance for excellent handling and good ride comfort. The rearmost bushing of the L-arm is also hydraulically damped for excellent road isolation, helping to prevent vibrations being transmitted into the vehicle structure.
Rebound springs are standard on all Astra vehicles. The rebound spring is integrated into the front strut - therefore not visible from the outside - and adds spring rate to the inside wheel during cornering which adds roll stiffness to the front axle. Body roll is significantly reduced. As the rebound spring does not load the outside wheel, the body roll can be reduced without creating unwanted understeer as would be the case if the front stabilizer bar was increased to achieve the same amount of body roll control. The rebound spring is not compressed during jounce, so there is no negative effect on ride comfort compared to an increased front stabilizer bar.
Space-saving Electric Parking Brake (EPB)
Like in the Opel Insignia, an Electric Parking Brake is available in the new Astra as an option. As well as providing enhanced convenience, this easy-to use Electric Parking Brake also frees up valuable additional storage space in the center console.
To activate the Electric Parking Brake, the driver simply needs to pull up a switch located near the gearshift, instead of a conventional handbrake lever. This sends an electrical signal to actuators clamping the rear brake calipers. The Electric Parking Brake can secure the car on gradients as steep as 30 percent. It is automatically disengaged when the vehicle drives off.
The Electric Parking Brake is offered with the Hill Start Assist (HSA) function, which helps minimize downhill movement of the car and puts less stress on the clutch (and the driver) when taking off on an uphill slope. The HSA briefly maintains pressure on all four brakes to minimize the possibility of the vehicle moving when the driver steps from the brake to the accelerator pedal while engaging the clutch.
Braking and multiple active safety systems
Depending on the performance level of a given version, the dual-circuit braking system of the Astra features one of the two brake disc combinations available. The 15-inch specification uses 276 mm ventilated front discs and 268 mm solid rear discs, clamped by single piston calipers. The 15-inch system is featured on the 1.4, 1.6, 1.4 Turbo and 1.3 CDTI variants. The 16-inch version - on the 1.6 Turbo, 1.7 CDTI and 2.0 CDTI models - has 300 mm ventilated front discs and 292 mm solid rear discs with single piston calipers.
The four-channel ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is fitted as standard together with the Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) which ensures an optimal braking force is applied on both axles for maximum stability under heavy breaking.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC), including Traction Control (TC), is fitted as standard across the range and offers a high level of active safety. The ESC yaw sensor in the center of the car detects movement around the vertical axis and a sensor on the steering column measures the steering angle being applied. Inputs from these sources are then correlated with the speed of the car. The system is programmed to execute whatever actions will most effectively prevent the loss of control. Depending upon the driving situation, it is possible for braking to be applied via the ESC system to one, two or three wheels at once, or, if necessary, the electronic throttle opening is also reduced.
Other braking functions under ESC direction:
- Cornering Brake Control (CBC), is activated when the car is braking while cornering. Brake pressure is individually varied between all four wheels in order to keep the car perfectly stable.
- Cornering Torque Control (CTC) prevents the inner wheel from slipping when cornering under acceleration, thereby minimizing any understeer tendency.
- Electronic Drag Torque Control (EDC), keeps the wheels from blocking when the throttle is released too quickly or during an abrupt downshift.
- Brake Assist System (BAS) helps the driver apply optimal braking power in emergency braking situations.
- Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist (HBFA) automatically raises braking pressure to compensate for brake fade under repeated applications of heavy braking.
- Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) is active when an Opel-approved towing hitch is fitted. TSA counters any vehicle instability that may occur when towing a trailer or caravan by reducing the engine torque and applying brake pressure to selected wheels.
Steering: electrical speed sensitive assistance improves feel and saves fuel
The new Opel Astra uses a rack-and-pinion steering system. The speed sensitive assistance is electrically powered by a motor mounted directly on the steering rack as opposed to the base of the steering column.
This architecture ensures improved driver feel when turning the steering wheel. At low speeds, the level of power assistance is increased to minimize steering effort. At higher speeds, assistance is automatically reduced to ensure a high degree of steering feel for the driver. The second important benefit of this system is fuel economy because it does not require an energy-consuming pump and responds directly to the amount of power needed at any speed.
The new Astra will launch with a complete line-up of eight engines ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 132 kW/180 hp, illustrating the brand’s philosophy of providing drivers with affordable, real-life efficiency while still preserving a thrilling driving experience. The new Astra has grown slightly to provide a roomier interior and, at the same time, it has benefited from engineering enhancements that allow it to improve fuel efficiency and performance.
eight engines ranging from 95 hp to 180 hp, 0 to 60 mph in 9,7 seconds, new 6-speed automatic
The Astra’s line-up of powertrains with manual transmission provides impressive performance and cuts fuel consumption and CO2 emissions overall by more than 12 percent compared with the current generation. The average fuel consumption of the four diesel engines ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 118 kW/160 hp, which are expected to represent almost half of the new Astra cars sold in Europe at launch, is only 4.6 l/100 km.
The CDTI turbo diesel line-up includes 1.3, 1.7 and 2.0-liter units, each has common-rail with multiple fuel injection equipped with particulate filters. Even the top-of-the-line 2.0 CDTI with 118 kW/160 hp only requires 4.9 l/100 km on average and emits no more than 129 g/km CO2.
A new diesel 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX generation with CO2 emissions of only 109 g/km and an average fuel consumption of just 4.2 l/100 km will be added to the range in spring 2010.
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 average fuel consumption of the four gasoline engine line-up is only 6.1 l/100 km.
The 74 kW/100 hp entry-level version in the gasoline line-up only consumes 5.5 l/100 km and does not emit more than 129 g/km CO2. This makes it the most fuel-efficient gasoline compact on the market. Continuing Opel’s strategy of downsizing, a new 103 kW/140hp 1.4 Turbo gasoline engine replaces the current 1.8 liter variant, improving fuel efficiency by nearly 18 percent.
All transmissions are six-speed, with the exception of a five-speed manual gearbox for the 1.4 and1.6-liter naturally-aspirated and the 1.3 turbo diesel engines. A new, space-saving automatic transmission is introduced in the gasoline range.
Four naturally aspirated or turbocharged high-efficient 1.4 and 1.6 gasoline engines
Four naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 1.4 and 1.6-liter engines compose a line-up of 74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp.
All engines are transversely-mounted four-cylinder units with aluminum cylinder heads carrying dual overhead camshafts that operate four valves per cylinder. Cylinder blocks are in cast iron for strength and reduced noise resonance, with a hollow frame design for minimized weight. A die cast, structural aluminum oil pan adds further stiffness and provides further noise reduction.
Continuously variable valve timing is featured in all engines on both inlet and exhaust sides, except the 1.6-liter turbo. The camshafts have hydraulically operated vane-type phasers which vary the angle of each camshaft relative to the crankshaft by up to 60 degrees on the inlet side and 45 degrees on the exhaust side.
Cam phasing allows the engine control module to adjust the timing of the opening and closing of the valves according to varying conditions, such as engine speed and engine load. The many benefits include a broader spread of torque, higher maximum power and improved fuel consumption. Cam phasing is also an effective tool for controlling exhaust emissions, managing valve overlap at optimum levels to eliminate the need for a separate exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. The coolant thermostat and the oil pump are electronically controlled to improve engine heat up.
The entry-level 1.4-liter, naturally-aspirated engine develops 74kW/100 hp at 6000 rpm, with a specific power output of 52.8 kW/71.4 hp per liter. It focuses on excellent fuel economy and returns 5.5 l//100 km over the combined cycle, the best figure for a gasoline engine in the compact segment.
The camshafts are chain-driven for maintenance-free operation and automatic hydraulic lash adjustment. Further refinements include the use of hollow camshafts, which reduce weight and lower reciprocating mass, and a torsional vibration damper that improves running refinement. The fuel injection system also features port deactivation under part load for improved exhaust gas recirculation, giving lower emissions and improved fuel consumption.
The 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated engine, develops 85 kW/115 hp at 6,000 rpm and has an even higher specific power output (72.5 hp) per liter than its 1.4-liter, naturally-aspirated cousin. Maximum torque of 155 Nm is generated at 4,000 rpm, with more than 90 percent of this value available from 3,000 rpm. The combined cycle fuel consumption is 6.3 l/100 km.
A two-stage variable intake manifold is fitted to this engine. For increased torque at engine speeds below 4,000 rpm, the fuel/air intake charge passes through 620 mm long inlet tracts. Above 4,000 rpm, the engine management system transmits a signal to channel the air along shorter 288 mm tracts, which has the effect of increasing top-end engine power.
The engine’s cylinder barrels are laser-etched for an extremely smooth finish. This results in minimal piston friction and wear characteristics, while also benefiting oil and fuel consumption. Under-skirt piston oil cooling is a further addition.
The new, downsized 103 kW/140 hp 1.4-liter turbo engine that replaces a naturally-aspirated 1.8 engine of similar output is focused on strong performance with high elasticity, enabled by 200 Nm of torque available between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. Compared to the 140 hp/175 Nm 1.8 engine from the current range it replaces, it delivers 14 percent more torque with an impressively low fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100km – an improvement of nearly 18 percent. These power characteristics translate to a zero to 100 km/h acceleration in 9.7 seconds, and a transition from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear swiftly accomplished in 13.3 seconds.
The water-cooled turbocharger, spinning at up to 240,000 rpm, is integrated into the exhaust manifold close to the engine for a fast throttle response. Air-to-air inter-cooling increases the intake charge density.
The adoption of a reinforced crankshaft, reinforced pistons and con-rods allows the use of relatively high 9.5:1 compression ratio, despite higher stresses and loads. Under-skirt piston oil cooling jets, an oil cooler and exhaust valves filled with sodium are further features ensuring durability under higher internal temperatures.
The most powerful gasoline engine is the 1.6-liter turbocharged which exceeds 110 hp per liter in delivering a maximum power of 132 kW/180 hp. Devel oped for customers focusing on dynamic driving characteristics, it is the most powerful production engine in its displacement class.
Great performance is matched by an impressively wide plateau of torque, with 230 Nm available all the way from 2,200 rpm to 5,400 rpm. For quick and safe overtaking maneuvers, an overboost function can briefly unleash even more torque, raising it to 266 Nm for up to five seconds.
With this engine, the new Astra achieves zero to 100 km/h acceleration in 8.5 seconds, and makes the 80 to 120 km/h transition in fifth gear in just 10.5 seconds.
Like the 1.6 naturally-aspirated engine, the cylinder barrels are laser-etched for minimal piston friction. To withstand higher operating temperatures, the exhaust valves are filled with sodium and under-skirt piston cooling with oil jets is used. A map-based thermostat control raises the coolant temperature at low engine speeds or under light loads to help reduce internal lubricant friction and improve fuel consumption.
Three diesel engines in four output variants require less than 5.0 liter/100 km
The CDTI turbo diesel line-up includes 1.3, 1.7 and 2.0-liter units - all common-rail with multiple fuel injection and standard particulate filter – which range in power from 70 kW/95 hp to 118 kW/160 hp. All benefited from the latest developments and refinements in engine management calibration, which allowed an impressive 14.5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency across the range compared to the already frugal current Astra diesel line-up. The four engines require less than 5.0 liter/100 km on average - with CO2 emissions that do not exceed 129 g/km - even for the powerful 118 kW/160 hp 2.0 CDTI. A first ecoFLEX generation powered by the 70 kW/95 hp 1.3 CDTI engine with CO2 emissions of only 109 g/km and average fuel consumption of only 4.2 l/100 km will be added to the range in spring 2010.
All CDTI engines in the Astra are fitted with 16-valve, dual overhead camshafts, a weight-saving aluminum cylinder head, specially shaped intake ports for exceptional swirl and burn characteristics, oil-jet-cooled pistons, a dual-mass flywheel and a maintenance-free particulate filter. The main technical features include:
- Common Rail, Multiple Fuel Injection: Operating at high pressures up to 1,800 bar (1,800 bar for the 1.7-liter; 1,600 bar for the 1.3- and 2.0-liter engines), this sophisticated fuel delivery system ensures extremely fine atomization in the combustion chamber and enables up to five injection pulses per cycle to extract as much energy as possible from a given amount of fuel. This results in exceptionally-low fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, as well as reduced engine noise. Multiple injections help iron out the strong vibrations associated with compression ignition. For example, a pre-injection during the warm-up period reduces cold-start ‘knock’ to a barely perceptible level.
- Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT): The pitch of the vanes on the turbine wheel is continuously varied according to engine load and speed, giving an excellent throttle response, particularly during pick up from low speeds.
- Improved Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR): The electronically-controlled EGR system has an additional cooling function. Electro-pneumatically operated bypass flaps controlled by the engine management system ensure that the exhaust gas reaches a temperature suitable for combustion on its way back into the cylinder. This contributes to increased power as well as reduced emissions.
Acclaimed for its compact size, the 70 kW/95 hp, 1.3-liter CDTI in the new Astra ecoFLEX offers outstanding fuel economy of just 4.2 l/100 km over the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of only 109 g/km. Strong torque of 190 Nm between 1,750 and 3,250 rpm belies the small capacity of this engine.
The 1.7-liter CDTI comes in two states of tune, providing 81 kW/110 hp and 260 Nm, or 92 kW/125 hp and 280 Nm of torque. Combined cycle fuel consumption in both cases is 4.7 l/100 km.
The 2.0-liter CDTI which debuted in the Insignia packs 118 kW/160 hp with an impressively strong torque of 350 Nm from just 1,750 rpm. With the overboost function, 380 Nm can be reached for up to 15 seconds, giving the driver extra power when needed. The result is outstanding performance – with zero to 100 km/h achieved in 9.0 seconds – together with combined cycle fuel consumption of just 4.9 l/100 km.
A choice of transmissions that includes a new 6-speed automatic
Six-speed manual gearboxes offering a wide spread of ratios and a long, fuel-saving top gear are a standard fit across the range, with the exception of the 1.4/1.6-liter naturally-aspirated and the 1.3-liter turbo diesel engines which have five-speed gearboxes. Such five-speed, two-shaft units are preferred due to their advantages in efficiency and mass balance, optimizing fuel economy. All gearboxes feature triple cone synchronization in the first and second gears for easy engagement.
An all-new, six-speed automatic transmission with an ActiveSelect function is available as an option with all gasoline engines except the 1.4-liter naturally-aspirated unit which is manual only.
The on-axis design allows more compact packaging, resulting in enhanced crumple zone performance, increased interior space, and a lower hood line than with a conventional off-axis design. Instead of the transmission being folded around the end of a transversely-mounted engine, the gear sets are now on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, which makes the entire powertrain unit much shorter fore-to-aft. Shifts are accomplished by applying and disengaging clutches simultaneously, which provides increased functionality and a more direct feel for the driver compared to freewheeling gear change mechanisms.
On the road, a wide selection of shift patterns is adapted to the styles and habits of the driver, anticipating when maximum acceleration or maximum efficiency is required. The electronic control also adapts to the prevailing road conditions, reducing gear shifting when climbing or descending and using engine braking assistance during down shifts.
ActiveSelect allows sequential driver gear selection via the shift lever. The driver also benefits from neutral gear disengagement at idle, which reduces vibration and contributes to improved fuel consumption.
Hydraulically-damped mountings for smoother operation
All powertrains are bolted in position via hydraulically-damped mountings that minimize vibration through the body structure. Adaptor plates enable the same four fixing points to be used for all applications, two on the front sub-frame and one on each longitudinal beam.
The fuel supply system uses an electric pump and filter mounted in the 56-liter fuel tank, which is located low under the rear seat for optimal weight distribution and crash impact protection.
Equipment & Innovative Technologies
"The 2010 Opel (Vauxhall) Astra is a good car. It’s seriously deficient in no area and offers sensible improvements over the old model. Unfortunately, it does not have any truly outstanding qualities, either." (InsideLine)
Continuing the Opel tradition, the new Astra brings an array of exclusive equipment and innovative technologies to the compact class at an affordable price.
Third Generation Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+)
Opel has played a pioneering role in automotive lighting technology and was the first automaker to introduce cornering light functions with first-generation AFL. Now its third generation, even more intelligent AFL+ system is debuted in the compact class.
With multi-xenon headlamps, AFL+ is offered as part of a Premium Lighting Pack. This also includes High Beam Assist (automatic headlamp beam switching), LED daytime running lights and headlamp washers.
AFL+ features a total of nine configurations, complemented by the Daytime Running Light function. Each of the configurations is automatically engaged to suit prevailing road profiles and driving conditions.
- Dynamic Curve Light provides illumination around bends by swivelling the headlamps up to 15°, to the right or left, into an oncoming bend. The degree of movement is dictated by the car’s speed and steering angle. The function is now also linked to the Sport mode switch in FlexRide, where fitted, enabling an even faster response.
- Country Road Light provides brighter and wider illumination of both sides of the road than a conventional low beam. This helps drivers see potential hazards at the roadside. It is activated between 50 and 100 km/h and projects a 70 meter long beam without risk of blinding oncoming drivers.
- Static Cornering Light illuminates an area to the right or left up to an angle of 90° and makes it easier to maneuver in poorly-lit areas, such as on dark access roads. It is activated at speeds below 40 km/h, or when reverse gear is selected.
- Highway Light provides a more intense and slightly higher main beam. There is no risk of blinding oncoming drivers as the typically smooth highway road surface causes less vehicle body movement. Highway Light creates a 140 meter long beam and also improves illumination of the left-hand roadside. An increased electrical output, from 35 to 38 watts, provides the stronger beam. The function activates automatically above 100 km/h, but only when the steering angle sensor indicates that curve radii do not resemble those of a country road.
- Town Light functions at speeds between 30 and 50 km/h, providing a wider, symmetrical beam with reduced range to help drivers see pedestrians at the roadside. Town Light’s beam intensity is less than the normal low beam as additional light sources – such as street lighting – are available.
- Pedestrian Area Light is activated at speeds up to 30 km/h and is designed for zones where the driver must exercise extreme caution, such as in residential areas with traffic restrictions. The function adjusts the cone of light for both headlamps by 8° toward each roadside.
- Adverse Weather Light is activated during rain or snow when the rain sensor detects a certain amount of moisture on the windshield, or when the wipers are switched on and off in rapid succession. The light output is distributed asymmetrically. The right headlamp beam intensity increases from 35 to 38 watts, so the driver can see lane markings better. The left headlamp beam reduces from 35 to 32 watts and is shortened slightly to reduce the risk of blinding oncoming drivers through glare from wet, reflective road surfaces.
- High Beam Light provides maximum headlamp beam output and range. It optimally illuminates the full width of the road and the headlamps’ output increases from 35 to 38 watts.
- High Beam Assist automatically engages and disengages high beam, maximizing forward vision and helping relieve night driving stress by assisting the driver with a simple yet repetitive task. It also helps prevent the likelihood of accidentally blinding other drivers. An optical sensor behind the windshield is integrated in the interior mirror mounting and recognizes the headlamps or tail lights of other vehicles. The headlamps are then automatically switched between high and low beam as required.
Additional lighting function:
Daytime Running Lights with LEDs give a signature lighting graphic by day and night. LEDs have a service life up to thirty times longer than H7 halogen bulbs, and also contribute to lower fuel consumption as they require less electrical power. When the main headlamps are on, the LEDs serve as sidelights.
Included in the Sight and Light Pack, Automatic Lighting Control switches on the headlamps at night and during the day whenever poor light conditions are encountered, such as when entering a tunnel or parking in a garage. This function is available for both the AFL+ and the halogen headlamp configurations.
The Opel Eye offers Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning
Another first for the compact segment, Opel Eye is a camera-based system that alerts the driver to traffic signs and provides a warning if the vehicle unintentionally veers out of lane. It is offered with the Sight and Light Pack in conjunction with AFL+.
The Opel Eye contributes to driving safety, helps reduce driving stress, and can even prevent a costly speeding fine. It utilizes a forward-facing camera which is mounted on the back of the interior rear-view mirror and is linked to a micro-processor.
Traffic Sign Recognition helps the driver comply with speed restrictions. The function reads speed limit and no-passing signs and notifies drivers when speed restrictions have been lifted. Unveiled on the Insignia, the system is now (for MY 10) activated at speeds above 14 km/h. This improvement is also available on Insignia. It still also works in the dark, when the car’s headlights illuminate the road signs.
The system always displays the most relevant information for safe driving. If two signs are recognized in close proximity to one another, then special advisory signs, such as “no passing”, would take precedence over a speed limit sign.
At the touch of a button, the Lane Departure Warning function can be activated for speeds above 60 km/h. The Opel Eye camera helps prevent a dangerous situation developing, such as when a driver starts to fall asleep at the wheel and unintentionally veers out of lane. If this happens, the driver is alerted by an audible warning chime and a flashing signal in the instrument panel.
A signal processor and software interprets images from the camera to detect lines and longitudinal patterns on the road ahead, enabling traffic lanes and road markings to be recognized. By monitoring steering wheel and turn-indicator movements – signalling an intentional lane change, for example – the system can distinguish between intended and unintended maneuvers and only intervenes when necessary.
Extensive Infotainment line-up
The new Astra offers a large choice of infotainment and communications systems. Audio packages offer four to eight speakers, ranging in playing power from 80 to 315 watts with the top-of-the-line Infinity system. All systems are MP3 compatible and have an auxiliary input socket for external electronic devices such as iPods. A USB connection is offered on the CD 500 Navi and DVD 800 Navi (optional on CD 400 and CDC 400) which allows having the controls on the steering wheel. The navigation systems include continuous map zooming and the top-of-the line DVD 800 system features bird’s eye view. The complete range comprises three audio packages and two navigation systems:
CD 300: This includes a radio/CD, the auxiliary input socket for external electronic devices, such as iPods, and MP3 playback with Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. The standard four speaker system comes with a text information display.
CD 400: Up-level radio/CD system including a larger graphic info display on the dashboard and seven speakers. The radio features a double-tuner function. When reception is poor, a second tuner searches for a stronger signal and, when found, the radio switches to it with virtually no interruption to reception.
CDC 400: In addition to the seven speakers and the graphic information display, this adds an in-dash 6 x CD changer.
CD 500 Navi: This adds seven up-level speakers, a 7-inch color monitor and improved scroll and zoom functions. The internal flash memory (1GB) allows maps for individual countries to be downloaded from the CD. For added convenience, the destination input offers a search by ZIP or postal code.
DVD 800 Navi: This top-of-the-line system adds a digital travel guide, a bird’s eye map view and a 2GB internal flash memory, allowing map software for several European countries to be downloaded from the DVD.
Infinity Premium audio: Superb sound reproduction is provided by an auxiliary amplifier, seven premium speakers and a subwoofer unit located under the trunk floor.
Hands-free phone: The mobile phone portal with Integrated Phone Module is new. When the system recognizes a Bluetooth mobile phone equipped with SAP (SIM Access Profile), the information stored on the SIM card of the mobile phone is automatically saved in the integrated Phone Module, enabling the driver to make calls or send a SMS via the module. The mobile phone stays in stand-by mode and does not use its battery. For other mobile phones, the in-car connection is provided wirelessly for Bluetooth-enabled phones or via a universal cradle in the center console. This charges the phone, saving battery life, and connects it to the car’s antenna for better reception. The cradle can accommodate connection adaptors for most commonly-used mobile devices. The phone can be operated via the steering wheel controls, buttons on the center stack or by voice command. All information is shown on the main display screen.
Four equipment levels to satisfy all
In keeping with the new Astra’s sporty persona, the interior is finished predominantly in black, with the instrument dials, main controls, air vent adjusters, door openers, gear-shift and handbrake lever all trimmed in silver. The headlining and the A, B and C-pillars are finished in a light grey, titanium-like color.
The entry-level Essentia interior features seats upholstered in black fabric, with contrasting patterns for the cushions and seat-back inserts. A dark pearlescent finish is applied to the decor trim for the center stack, door handles and air vents to give an up-level feel to the interior as of the entry level.
Besides the more discrete black trim, Enjoy introduces an additional color choice of Spice Red or Ocean Blue for the wing-shaped instrument panel, seat inserts and door trims. The finish applied to the wing panel and doors has a distinctively grained, soft-touch quality, giving the front of the cabin a fresh, youthful ambience. This bright and engaging interior theme is complemented by a silver dust finish on the center stack trim, door handles and air vents, together with a matt silver bezel on the steering wheel. A subtle night time enhancement is provided by ambient light in the headlining and around the gear shift molding.
The Sport interior adds a high gloss, piano black finish for the center stack, door handles and air vent trims. The centre console offers an armrest covered in fabric. The black sports seating is more deeply sculptured and upholstered with technical fabric inserts. The sports steering wheel features perforated leather rim.
The up-level Cosmo cabin features more deeply bolstered and supportive seating, upholstered in premium, heavily textured black fabric with contrasting patterns. The seat bolsters are covered in Morrocana. This modern, premium look is complemented by two-tone Liquid Palladium/Dark Matrix for the center stack and door handle trims. Cosmo also adds a center console arm-rest, covered in Morrocana, and a leather steering wheel. Ambient interior lighting is now extended to the front doors and translucent illumination for the instrument dial bezels further enhances the quality feel of the cabin (also on Sport).
In Enjoy, Sport and Cosmo, the Astra can also be equipped with an optional heated steering available when ordering the heated front seats.
Occupant safety is top priority
Occupant safety played a major role in the development of the new Astra. In addition to all features enhancing active safety, it is also fitted with many systems to protect its occupants if an accident occurs.
All new Astra variants are fitted with dual front seatbelt pre-tensioners providing effective tightening over the occupant’s shoulder and lap. They are pyrotechnically activated to restrain forward body movement in heavy.
Other standard safety equipment includes front airbags, front seat-mounted dual chamber thorax/pelvis side airbags, and roof rail-mounted curtain airbags that cover the entire glass area between the A and C-pillars. Three-point seatbelts are provided for all three rear passengers.
The front passenger airbag can be de-activated by inserting and turning the car’s ignition key in a small lock at the end of the instrument panel, in the doorjamb on the front passenger side. This is a useful feature if the seat is unoccupied or a rearward-facing child seat is being used. An amber warning light in the main display always alerts the front occupants if the passenger airbag is disconnected.
Whenever the airbags and pre-tensioners are deployed, a series of additional safety measures are automatically activated: The hazard warning lights come on, all doors are unlocked, the interior lights are switched on and the interior heating/ventilation fan and the fuel pump are both switched off.
Latest generation active head restraints, further optimized from the Insignia application, are fitted as standard to the front seats in all specifications except Essentia. In a rear-end collision these help provide enhanced protection against whiplash neck injury.
Other occupant safety features:
- Seatbelt reminder with audible warning. Standard for all five seating positions.
- Front seat frames with ramps to restrict occupant movement in a frontal impact.• Enhanced Pedal Release System (PRS). In a heavy frontal impact, the brake and clutch pedals are decoupled from their mountings, helping to reduce the risk of foot or lower leg injury.
- ISOFIX child seat mounts for the outer rear seats, plus seatback-mounted top tether brackets for the outer rear seating positions.
- Height-adjustable rear head restraints, optional for the center position.
- ire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – optional – warns the driver if pressure in any of the tires falls below the recommended level. A warning message appears in the main instrument display.
- Adaptive brake lights warn following drivers by pulsing five times per second when the ABS is engaged at speeds above 30 km/h. All three brake lights are activated.