With the new Vauxhall Astra due to come out in 2015, it's about time we got the lowdown on what to expect. Vauxhall recently released images that show a newly minted, sportier-looking incarnation of the popular hatchback, and we also have details of the specs of the latest range. So here is everything you need to know about what's coming our way next year.
The appearance of the new Astra is clearly influenced by Vauxhall's Opel Monza concept car. When this was revealed back at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013, it gave a pretty clear idea of the direction that Vauxhall was taking their designs in. The Astra has a similarly impressive front end, with larger grill and narrower, upwards-curving headlights. It also possesses the same elegant crease along its flank, making for an overall smooth and streamlined appearance. The bonnet has a more sculpted quality than its current incarnation, and it's also a little longer. Similarly, the rear of the vehicle has more of an overhang – suggesting an overall bigger Astra for this generation.
But what does this mean in terms of performance? Something that Vauxhall have made clear is their focus on making a much lighter vehicle, to follow suit with competitors such as the upcoming Ford Focus RS. So despite being a longer car, with more legroom and more boot space, it has a remarkably lighter frame. It should also have lower CO2 emissions – somewhere around the 82g/km range. Later versions are also likely to feature a 114bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine to compete with the Focus's 1.0 EcoBoost, and it is expected that the current 276bhp 2.0 litre turbo could get a facelift too, with an output in the region of 300bhp.
The interior of the new Astra also shows some crossover with their latest concept cars. The dashboard is a lot less cluttered, and the central screen has been made more prominent, giving an overall clean and functional appearance to the interior of the vehicle. The exact details of how this will translate into driving experience will have to wait until release. Production on the new Astra begins next year, with 160,000 cars expected to roll off the production line at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port Plant in Cheshire on an annual basis. The car is expected to come in around the £13k mark, although as yet there is no official word on price from Vauxhall.