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.


Source: AutoExpress

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