Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2010 Opel / Saturn Astra: First Official Sketches and Details

Opel’s British arm Vauxhall, has released the first teaser images of the all-new 2010 Astra ahead of its official launch at next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Although Vauxhal/Opel’s pictures of both the five-door (black) and the three-door GTC (white) Astras are kinda… sketchy, expect to see an evolutionary styling seasoned with design cues from the firm’s latest model, the Insignia. Inside, GM’s European subsidiary said that the next generation Astra will feature a ‘wrap-around interior with a wing-line sweep that links the instrument panel to the door’.

Mark Adams, GM Europe’s Vice President of Design said: "The present Astra already combines a high level of technical substance and emotional styling, but with the new car we are taking a big step forward in both respects, while emphasising its sporting credentials."

The new Astra will be based on GM’s latest Delta platform and according to Opel/Vauxhall, it will be offered with a new range of engines designed to maximize fuel economy. On the technology field, the Astra will benefit from a series of systems that were launched in the Insignia, including the Front Camera System, which combines traffic sign recognition with a lane departure system, and the next generation Adaptive Front Lighting (AFL) that provides nine unique light beams to improve visibility.

In Europe, the 5-door version of the Astra will go on sale by the end of 2009/early 2010. The sportier three-door GTC with its coupe-like roofline will be available by spring 2010 followed by the sedan, station-wagon and coupe-cabriolet models. As for the North American market, the Saturn will arrive in late 2010. Unlike the current Astra that is imported from Europe, the new model will be built locally to take advantage of lower U.S. production costs, thanks to the weaker dollar.

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