Vauxhall have released a prototype of the all new Astra ahead of its official launch later this year, and early signs are that one of the UK’s most iconic family hatch backs is set to remain so. Several automotive websites have already got their hands on the prototype, and Auto Express have said that it is “full of promise”.
The new Astra will be produced at Vauxhall’s famous Ellesmere Port plant, and when production does begin, it will be at the end of a long and rigorous planning process to ensure that the new Astra competes in what has become a fiercely contested class.
In terms of power, we’re expecting engine choice to range from 94 to 196 bhp and hold Vauxhall’s excellent 1.0-litre three-cylinder, plus 1.4 and 1.6 petrols – all of which will be turbocharged. A diesel option is also expected in he form of the new 1.6-litre Whisper engine. The engine tested by Auto Express was described as impressive for “smoothness and punch”.
However, they claim it is the handling of the car where drivers are really going to notice the difference, saying that the steering is lighter and more responsive, and the car was able to smooth off several bumps that both the previous version and the current Ford Focus would not have done so well with. Further comparing it to rival cars, they say that it “sits nicely between the comfort of the VW and the Focus’ controlled firmness”.
It will also be interesting to see the tech spec on the new Astra, especially following the recent launch of Vauxhall OnStar in the new Viva, due to be rolled out across the new range.
Prices are still yet to be revealed, as are figures regarding efficiency. Both are expected to be aimed to compete with the very best in class, and if Vauxhall can get that part right, there is no reason the new Astra won’t be yet another major player in the family hatch sector.