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First look inside: Astra’s sexy new interior

In style: GM Europe's Astra oozes class, but may miss the boat to Australia.

GM reveals stylish new Astra interior ahead of Frankfurt launch

19 Jun 2009

HERE is the stunning new interior of General Motors’ redesigned Astra, which may never be sold in Australia.

As we reported when the all-new five-door hatchback was officially revealed last month, Holden is investigating the viability of selling the sixth-generation Astra, which will make its global public debut at September’s Frankfurt motor show before being released in Europe in late 2009.

However, the current Astra is no longer being imported due to unfavourable exchange rates, which along with local production of the Cruze sedan and its yet-to-appear hatch sibling in 2010 could see Holden struggle to position the new Astra in its Australian range.

The new Astra is a sister model to both the Cruze and Holden’s 2012 Volt hybrid, all of which share GM’s new Delta II global small-car platform.

As these first interior images show, it will feature one of the most impressive dashboards ever seen in a small car, along with what GM says will be greater cabin space and comfort courtesy of smarter packaging.

13 center imageAccording to the UK’s Vauxhall, which revealed the Astra’s insides yesterday in Europe simultaneously with its continental affiliate Opel, the MkVI Astra’s distinctive Insignia-inspired exterior design cues are continued inside, where the use of premium materials abounds.

A recurring theme is the “wing and blade motifs” first seen on the new Insignia, which is also under consideration for sale here by Holden, with the latter evident in features such as the “gooseneck” shaped door-pulls as well as the gearshift and steering wheel trims.

The entire wrap-around dashboard design takes on a wing shape and has a black, grained finish with a subtly different texture to the cabin’s other mouldings, while ambient lighting frames the gearshift gate and door-handle recesses on premium grades.

Vauxhall says the centre console is angled towards the driver at a shallow 30-degree angle to enhance the cabin’s perceived space and depth, while the Astra’s key instrument gauges are chrome-ringed and heavily binnacled like the Insignia’s.

The images show a black leather-trimmed interior with sizeable rear legroom and five head restraints, and GM says the Astra’s redesigned seats will deliver industry-leading levels of adjustment.

According to Vauxhall, the front seats can be raised by up to 65mm, with fore/aft adjustment extending to 280mm, while new Ergonomic Sports Seats in upstream variants will feature an improved tilt function, four-way power lumbar support and upgraded side bolstering.

Special attention was also allegedly applied to storage space in the new Astra, which will feature a hard-shelled sunglass case above the driver’s door, coin slots and pen holders moulded into the inside edge of the glove box lid, two removable compartments within the glovebox and a second mini-glovebox below the light switch.

Meantime, the centre console can accommodate nine CDs in their cases and features two cup-holders, and there’s an optional under-seat drawer large enough hold a pair of shoes. Rear Astra passengers also get a 12-volt outlet and two cup-holders, while the boot will incorporate a side recess and a patented adjustable-height floor system dubbed Flex-Floor.

“Our goal was to make the perceptual quality in the interior of the next generation Astra as great as that of the Vauxhall Insignia,” said design appearance quality manager Peter Hasselbach. “This is in line with Vauxhall’s mission to bring innovations and quality to the compact class.”

Read more:

First look: Insignia-inspired Astra revealed

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