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September 2009


New Opel Astra: The First Class Compact


           Spirited: Athletic, sculptured design promises a thrilling driving experience
           Agile: New mechatronic chassis raises standard in handling and comfort
           Efficient: Clean and powerful engine range lowers fuel consumption 1
           Upscale: Exceptional technologies and innovations in the compact class


Rüsselsheim. With its sporty, good looks, comfortable driving experience, innovative
technology and a full fuel efficient powertrain line-up, the new Opel Astra, which debuted in
Frankfurt at the IAA as a five-door hatchback, is set to energize Europe’s compact car
segment.


Grounded in the tradition Opel initiated in 1936 with the first Kadett, the Astra has
consistently made the top-three list of Europe’s best-selling compacts for decades – a
segment which accounts for 27 percent of the total car market. Astra sales make up a third
of all Opel/Vauxhall purchases, for an average volume of nearly 500,000 units per year.


The new Astra brings many comfort and safety features to the compact class from the
upper segment – most were introduced by the Insignia to the midsize class. Exceptional
technologies like an all-new mechatronic chassis, the most advanced lighting system, a
front camera that recognizes traffic signs and seats with the best ergonomics will be
available.


“The new Astra raises the standard in the compact class with exciting design, dynamic
driving and great practical features. It shows that we at Opel build automobiles that speak
to one’s emotion and are loaded with German engineering excellence,” says Alain Visser,
Vice President Sales, Marketing & Aftersales Opel/Vauxhall.




1
    All performance, fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures are subject to change
Information concerning specifications and equipment applies to the models offered in Germany. There may be differences in other markets. All data on
fuel consumption refers to combined fuel consumption of the base model in the European test cycle. Subject to alteration.


Adam Opel GmbH                                              media.opel.com
D-65423 Rüsselsheim
Page 2




Opel’s new design language reinterpreted for the compact class


The new Opel Astra brings into the compact class its own interpretation of the brand’s
award-winning design language of combining “sculptural artistry with German precision”
first seen in the Insignia. Its strong coupé-like silhouette and elegant details give the car a
fresh sporty look. Elegant proportions provide a strong, cab-forward silhouette, with a
steeply-raked windshield and falling rear roofline, adding visual excitement to the traditional
hatchback format.


“It’s important that each Opel model has its own, strong personality. This is why the design
cues introduced in the Insignia, like the wing and the blade, which energize the shapes,
have been given a fresh interpretation in the Astra,” says Mark Adams, Vice President of
Design, General Motors Europe.


The flank of the Astra receives a dynamic inverted blade that visually connects to the
powerful movement of the rear window and the C-pillar. In the back end, double wing-
shapes in each of the rear lights make it immediately recognizable.


The interior echoes the flowing forms of the bodywork: sweeping lines, curvaceous shapes
and the quality of the execution are all part of Opel’s design language. A signature design
cue is the wraparound wing shape of the instrument panel that arcs into the top of the door
moldings. The effect is a warm embrace of the occupants, providing a welcoming
ambience that is enhanced at night by a red diffused light that illuminates the base of the
center stack and the front door panels.


New mechatronic chassis system with Watt’s link in rear axle


Driving dynamics and stability are improved by a wheelbase that is 71 mm longer, for a
total of 2685 mm. The new Astra has a 1544 mm wide front and 1588 mm wide rear and
the tracks are increased by 56 mm and 70 mm respectively. This gives the car a wider
footprint, contributing to more stable handling and an inherently better road-holding
capability. The core body structure stiffness is improved by 43 percent in torsion and
10 percent in bending to provide a firm base for optimizing the new Astra’s handling and
Page 3




ride capabilities. Increased stiffness also benefits comfort, as it reduces noise and
vibrations inside the cabin.


The Opel Astra’s chassis has been developed as a mechatronic system that fully
integrates mechanical functions and electronic controls. The new Astra retains the
dynamic, fun-to-drive character of the previous model, with significant improvements in
steering response and ride comfort.


While the chassis has the proven McPherson strut layout at the front, Opel engineers in
Rüsselsheim are the first in the world to combine a compound crank with a Watt’s link in
the rear axle. This new construction keeps the advantages in size, weight and overall
efficiency of the compound crank rear axle layout design, At the same time, the Watt’s link
supports lateral forces during cornering and makes the car dynamic and agile without
compromising on stability and comfort.


Like the Insignia, the new Astra can come with the clever Opel FlexRide electronic driving
system, a rarity in this class. The FlexRide adaptive suspension system continuously
adapts to changes in driving style and cornering speed. In addition, it offers a choice of
three settings – Standard, Sport and Tour – and additional personalization.


Line-up of super efficient engines reduces emissions by 12 percent


The new Astra will launch with a complete line-up of eight engines ranging from
70 kW/95 hp to 132 kW/180 hp and will provide drivers with affordable, real-life efficiency.


The Astra’s line-up of powertrains with manual transmission provides impressive
performance and overall cuts CO2 emissions by more than 12 percent compared with the
current generation. The average fuel consumption of the diesel engines is 4.6 l/100 km and
only 6.1 l/100 km for the gasoline line-up.


The four diesel engines, which are expected to power almost half of the new Astra cars
sold in Europe at launch, deliver 70 kW/95 hp to 118 kW/160 hp. With the manual
transmission, they all consume under 5.0 l/100 km and do not emit more than 129 g/km
CO2. When it launches early next spring, the ecoFLEX version with the 70 kW/95 hp
Page 4




1.3 CDTI engine will have fuel consumption of only 4.2 liter/100 km and emit only 109 g/km
of CO2.


The gasoline range comprises naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 1.4 and 1.6-liter
engines, giving a power bandwidth from 74 kW/100 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. The entry-level
version in the gasoline line-up emits only 129 g/km CO2 – the best figure for a gasoline
engine in the compact segment. Continuing Opel’s strategy of downsizing, engineers
replaced a 103 kW/140 hp 1.8 liter engine of the previous generation with a new 1.4 Turbo
with similar output that only requires 5.9 l/100km, cutting fuel consumption and CO 2
emissions by nearly 18 percent.


Innovative technologies brought to the compact segment


“Opel’s mission to make high tech innovations accessible has proven to be successful in
the Insignia. We’ve set ourselves an even more ambitious goal in bringing most of these
features to the compact segment with the new Astra,” says Hans Demant, Managing
Director of Opel.


Many of the innovative technologies introduced by the new Astra are unique to the
compact class or bring a sophistication not seen before in this segment:


         The Opel Eye recognizes road signs and warns the driver when the car
          inadvertently departs from its lane.
         Ergonomic Sport Seats feature a 6-way adjustment range, the widest in the
          segment, a 4-way adjustment of the lumbar support and extendable seat cushion.
          Available at all trim levels, this driver’s seat comes with enhanced support and
          overall body comfort. It is the only one in the compact class to receive the much
          coveted seal of approval from Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (Action for Healthy
          Backs, known as AGR), an independent panel of ergonomics experts and doctors
          in Germany.
         The most advanced lighting system in the compact class, a new generation of Opel
          bi-xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+) changes its intensity and reach to
          suit prevailing driving and road conditions using nine different lighting functions.
Page 5




Two other clever innovations in body engineering also increase the on-board versatility of
the Opel Astra:


      FlexFix, Opel’s novel bike-carrier, is integrated behind the rear bumper and offered
       as an option on the new Astra hatchback. It makes transporting bikes easy and
       convenient because it slides out of the rear bumper like a drawer when a release
       lever near the lip of the trunk is pulled.
      A creative idea from Opel engineers and designers, FlexFloor allows for easy-to-
       use stowage of a wide variety of cargo. The trunk floor is moveable and can be
       positioned at three levels by engaging ergonomically-designed fixing channels near
       each corner of the trunk.



Contact:


Nathalie Van Impe
+ 49 6142 7 66166 (office)
+ 49 151 174 73959 (mobile)
nathalie.van.impe@de.opel.com



Text, photos and videos can be downloaded from the Internet at
http://media.opel.com

				
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