Thursday, December 24, 2009

2010 Opel Astra Caught Totally Undisguised: High-Res Scoop Photos

For the first time, our spy photographers have managed to capture a prototype model of the all-new fourth generation Opel / Vauxhall Astra without a single trace of camouflage. The spy shot gives us a clear view of the Astra's profile revealing details like the shape of the windows and the roofline, the taillights and the concave surfacing on the doors, all of which bring to mind the Insignia that has clearly inspired the designers of Opel's subcompact hatch.

Our gallery also contains spy photos of the 2010 Astra's interior that as you may have probably figured out already, is once again influence by the Insignia. The dashboard features four deeply positioned instrument dials in front of the driver and a swoopy central console with an elevated lower part that houses the gearbox lever.

Technical innovations will include several 'gizmos' like the 'Opel Eye' camera system that recognizes traffic signs warning the driver and a next-generation adaptive headlight system.

Under the skin, the new Opel Astra gets GM's latest front-wheel-drive Delta platform which is also used on the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt. Power will come from a wide range of diesel and gasoline powertrains, including GM's all-new 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine that will be offered with outputs ranging from 120 hp to 140 hp and torque values of 175 to 200 Nm. Opel claims that this unit will deliver an approximate 8% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the naturally aspirated 1.6 and 1.8-liter engines that it will replace.

The 5-door Astra will make its official premiere at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show in September, with sales following in Europe shortly after. In 2010, the Astra's range will be enhanced with the addition of the sportier 3door GTC while Opel also plans to introduce a four-door sedan, a station-wagon and a coupe-cabriolet variant with a retractable hardtop by 2011.

As for the U.S., GM plans to build the new Saturn-badged Astra here in America with sales supposed to commence sometime in 2011. However, given the current economic status of General Motors and more importantly, the uncertain future of the Saturn brand, we wouldn't be surprised if the Astra's North American debut is put on hold.

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