New Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
Brit-built Astra Sports Tourer set to hit UK showrooms by the end of 2010
Versatile and capacious cargo area combines with sleek design, inside and out
Extended powertrain line-up enhanced by Start/Stop tech
Major contribution by Vauxhall Engineering Centre to car’s development
Luton – These are the first official pictures of the new Astra Sports Tourer, which will receive its debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show in September and hit UK showrooms by the end of the year.
The Sports Tourer will be the second model to join the new Astra range, which has now sold over 28,000 units in the UK (to end of May) since its launch last December, and has helped the Astra become Britain’s best-selling retail range in the first five months of this year.
Combining high levels of practicality, clothed in a typically sleek and rakish body from Brit, Mark Adams’ design team, the Sports Tourer will be available to order from the start of October.
Crucially, the Astra Sports Tourer and its hatch sibling will also be among the first Vauxhall models to adopt Start/Stop technology, reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Illustrating the depth of Vauxhall’s engineering and manufacturing excellence in the UK, the Sports Tourer will be assembled solely at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, while its new upper-body structure has been 100 per cent engineered at Vauxhall Engineering Centre in Bedfordshire. And like the recently launched Astra hatch, the Sports Tourer will feature key dynamic elements tuned for UK roads.
PRACTICALITY & EQUIPMENT
Packed with clever features, the Astra Sports Tourer maintains the hatch’s wheelbase (2685mm), yet its superior packaging has allowed the maximum load length to be increased by 28mm to 1835mm, and its load volume by 30 litres to 500 litres with the rear seats up.
As well as boasting a cargo area with flat wall linings to fully optimise available space, a new FlexFold feature (standard or optional depending on trim level) allows each section of the 60:40 split-fold rear seatbacks to be lowered at the press of a button housed in the walls of the cargo compartment. In addition, with the rear seat cushions folded up against the front seat-backs, the Sports Tourer has a completely flat load floor and a maximum load capacity of up to 1550 litres.
But improved interior practicality doesn’t stop there. Compared with the current Astra estate, the Sports Tourer has an additional 25 litres of storage space in the cabin, 50 per cent more than before. And like its hatch sibling, the Sports Tourer also benefits from the option of Vauxhall’s award winning Ergonomic Sports Seats, providing front occupants with best-in-class comfort.
In keeping with Vauxhall’s commitment to bringing premium features to the compact segment, the Astra Sports Tourer will also adopt the option of Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), which has eight different bi-xenon settings and automatically adapts the headlights according to weather and road conditions.
The Astra Sports Tourer’s exterior design aims to raise the bar in the compact-estate market, bringing a touch of class and dynamism, without compromising the car’s high levels of practicality. The tapered profile, falling roofline and prominent ‘blades’ set into the sides of the car are complemented by a muscular shoulder line, which leads gracefully into eye-catching sculpted rear light units.
Inside, occupants will benefit from the same embracing, premium cabin as in the new Astra hatch, with features like the wraparound wing front fascia and unique ambient lighting.
From launch, Astra Sports Tourer buyers will have a choice of six frugal, yet lively engines, with an ultra-low emissions, Start/Stop-equipped ecoFLEX model available soon afterwards.
The petrol line-up starts with the 100PS 1.4i ECOTEC-4 with variable valve timing and sequential fuel injection, while a 1.6i ECOTEC-4 with 115PS is also available. The Sports Tourer’s most powerful petrol engine will be the smooth and punchy 1.4i Turbo which produces 140PS, yet achieves a combined fuel consumption of 45.6mpg and CO2emissions of 145g/km.
A new ecoFLEX model will be available soon after launch and will be one of the first Vauxhall models to get Start/Stop technology. Based on the 1.3 CDTi 95PS engine, the ecoFLEX features a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and variable geometry turbocharger.
Two 1.7-litre CDTis, with either 110 or 125PS, and a 160PS 2.0 CDTi, which combines high performance with 55.4mpg combined economy and emissions of just 134g/km, complete the Sports Tourer’s diesel engine range.*
*All figures quoted are provisional
From the start of the Astra Sports Tourer’s development, Vauxhall’s target was to maintain current levels of ride and handling enjoyed by the five-door hatch. As a consequence, its wheelbase remains the same at 2685mm, as do its front and rear tracks (1544 and 1588mm respectively).
Also carried over is the hatch’s innovative compound crank/Watt’s link rear suspension, which combines exceptional body control and ride characteristics and is unique to Vauxhall/Opel. For the Sports Tourer, the compound crank’s settings have been revised, as have damper calibrations, to cater for the model’s higher load capabilities without compromising the hatch’s dynamics.
Vauxhall has also carried over the steering settings from the hatch, which are bespoke to all new UK Astras. This programme offers drivers a more natural feel, thanks to careful tuning of the car’s electronic power steering system.
FlexRide, Vauxhall’s adaptive suspension system, is also available as an option on the Sports Tourer. The system continuously adapts to changes in driving style and cornering speed. In Standard mode, FlexRide offers the whole bandwidth of settings available and adjusts to suit the driver’s behaviour. In Tour mode, damper settings are relaxed to optimise ride quality, while in Sport mode, throttle and steering responses are sharpened, in addition to the adoption of stiffer damper settings.
For customers who tow, the Sports Tourer will be available with Vauxhall’s electronic Trailer Stability Assist system, which subtly brakes individual wheels to maintain control of the trailer/caravan in emergency situations.