New Astra gets a power boost

VAUXHALL has revealed the first pictures of the brand-new Astra, which comes with a range of petrol and diesel powertrains and builds on the success of the outgoing model, customers benefiting from reduced CO2 and fuel consumption, as well as a series of class-leading technology and equipment.

Perhaps a little disappointingly, the makers have only tweaked the new model's exterior styling and the cabin will look very familiar to present Astra drivers, but it is under the bonnet where the big changes have been made.

The new range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines achieve reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 figures enabled by the modern six-speed manual gearboxes, the seven-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) and – for the first time at Vauxhall – a new nine-speed automatic.

The compact, three-cylinder, turbo petrol units are available with 1.2 and 1.4-litre displacements, with power outputs extending from 110PS to 145PS.

The Astra 1.2 is combined with a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox while the Astra 1.4 is available exclusively with a new seven-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT). With the CVT, Astra drivers can enjoy the convenience of automatic gear changing or select gears themselves via the shift lever.

The Astra’s 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel engines offer 105PS and 122PS.

Instead of the precise, six-speed manual gearbox, the most powerful diesel is optionally available with the seamless shifting of a new nine-speed automatic transmission, which is making its debut at Vauxhall in the Astra.

The new diesel engines feature an electrically-activated turbocharger.

The latest Astra is available with a new digital front camera, which is both smaller and more powerful than before thanks to a faster processor. It now not only recognises vehicles, but also pedestrians, greatly improving safety. Furthermore, thanks to the high-resolution camera, traffic sign recognition can now process even more traffic signs and show them as symbols on the display. The digital rear view camera, available on selected models, is also more powerful, and works in conjunction with the new Multimedia Navi Pro infotainment system.

The high-end Bose sound system, featured on selected models, transforms the new Astra into a concert hall. Seven loudspeakers, including a RichBass subwoofer under the boot, ensure optimum listening pleasure, the driver and passengers surrounded by a rich sound, regardless of where they are in the vehicle.

Last but not least, the new Astra introduces a heated windscreen on selected models, making driving in the winter safer and more comfortable. Thin, almost invisible wires in the windscreen ensure that Astra drivers always have a clear view of the road on frosty mornings.

Prices for the revised Astra, which goes on sale in the UK in August, with first deliveries scheduled for November, have not been revealed, but only a minor premium over the outgoing car are expected.