Opel presented the all-new sixth generation of its compact class, bestselling Astra at a world premiere in Rüsselsheim, Germany. At the “phygital” hybrid event, in the presence of 180 journalists and in front of 500 other media representatives via livestream, newly appointed Opel CEO, Uwe Hochgeschurtz, presented the new blitz, supported by Opel brand ambassador and Liverpool FC Manager, Jürgen Klopp. For the first time, the new Astra, designed, developed and manufactured in Germany, will be available with an electric drive, complementing highly efficient petrol and diesel powertrains; Opel will from launch offer the new Astra as a plug-in hybrid in two performance levels and from 2023 as a battery all-electric emissions-free Astra-e. Due in Ireland in early 2022, prices and equipment levels will be announced closer to launch.
A real design gem featuring Opel’s Vizor front face, fully digital Pure Panel cockpit interior and top technologies such as adaptive Intelli-Lux LED Pixel Lighting, the German manufacturer is now opening the next chapter of the 30-year Astra success story.
Speaking from the world premiere, Opel CEO, Uwe Hochgeschurtz, said: “A fantastic car! The new Astra will open an exciting new chapter in the history of Opel compact class models. This will be the first time that we offer both a battery-electric and a plug-in hybrid version of the same model. I am confident that the new Astra and Astra-e will make a powerful impression and attract many new customers to the brand. Opel sets standards with this car, which has everything it takes to once again become a bestseller.”
Opel brand ambassador Jürgen Klopp described the first impressions he got from a pre-production vehicle: “I had the chance to drive a camouflaged Astra plug-in hybrid – really very impressive. Quiet and powerful at the same time, the handling almost like a sports car. And the design: bold, innovative, creative. Well done Opel!”
Opel has sold almost 15 million Astra models since the premiere of the Kadett successor in 1991. Thirty years later, the compact class model is more leading-edge than ever. The new Opel Astra is 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 Opel Vizor, the sixth generation launches this year as a sporty five-door with a low-slung look and yet more space than its predecessor. Production will begin this autumn in Rüsselsheim.
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, fresh, modern graphics offer customers a pure, more intuitive experience. Operation is via an extra-wide touchscreen, just like a smartphone. The Opel 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. Notably, key settings such as climate control can still be operated via physical switches and buttons. Never before has an Opel been so intuitive and easy to operate as the new Astra.
The new Astra is 4,374 millimetres long and 1,860 mm wide. It is only 4.0 mm longer than the previous model. The wheelbase increased by 13 mm to 2,675 mm. Notwithstanding the muscular, confident stance, the new Astra’s practical boot with adjustable floor still offers the driver and four passengers up to 1,250 litres of luggage volume with the rear seats folded down.
The new Astra is based on the third generation of the highly flexible EMP2 multi-energy architecture, with Opel DNA built in from the start of development. This means that the handling is composed as well as dynamic and that the new model, like every Opel, is “Autobahnproof”. In other words, high-speed capability was a primary development objective. 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 the new Astra is 14% higher than that of the previous model.
Like its predecessor launched in 2015, the newcomer brings innovations to the compact class that customers previously only knew from more expensive vehicles. The latest evolution of the adaptive Intelli-Lux LED® Pixel Light lighting system comes straight from Opel’s flagship Insignia, and with 168 LED elements, it leads the way in the compact and midsize market sectors. The front seats, developed in-house, are AGR (“Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.” / “Campaign for Healthy Backs”) certified and, with their exemplary ergonomics, are exceedingly comfortable, especially on long journeys. The driver is further supported by state-of-the-art assistance systems ranging from the head-up display to the semi-automated Intelli-Drive 2.0 assistance system, which integrates all cameras and sensors on board with e-horizon connectivity, and the Intelli-Vision 360-degree camera.
The new Astra portfolio has something for everyone in terms of drive alternatives. It is the first Opel model that will soon offer customers the choice between pure electric drive, plug-in hybrid or combustion engine.
The new Opel Astra goes on sale in Ireland from spring 2022. It will initially be launched as a sporty five-door model with coupé-like lines; the elegant Astra Sports Tourer estate version will follow shortly. One year after market launch of the new generation the battery-electric Astra-e will join the line-up.