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Frankfurt show: Opel outs Astra wagon

Putting the boot in: The next-generation Opel Astra wagon has up to 1630 litres of luggage space, accessed via an optional 40:20:40 split-fold rear bench.

Wagon variant to join Astra hatchback on Opel’s Frankfurt Motor Show stand

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Holden logo11 Sep 2015

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

OPEL has revealed a wagon variant of its next-generation Astra small car ahead of the model’s world debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week and potential Australian arrival next year as a replacement for the Holden Cruze Sportwagon.

Despite identical exterior dimensions to the model it replaces – 4698mm long, 1814mm wide and 1535mm tall – boot space leaps from 1550 litres to 1630L, which is 10L more than the Volkswagen Golf wagon and significantly roomier than the Cruze Sportwagon’s 1478L.

An optional 40:20:40 split-fold rear bench promises to enhance flexibility for carrying combinations of passengers and luggage, while an automatic tailgate activated by a kicking motion under the rear bumper demonstrates the trickle-down of premium features to the small-car segment.

More examples of this include adaptive LED headlights and massaging front seats with electric adjustment and memory.

Revealed on Opel’s German-language blog, the new Astra Sports Tourer is said to share its hatchback sibling’s significant weight loss (up to 200kg), improved driving pleasure and reduced fuel consumption, along with the latest OnStar and IntelliLink multimedia connectivity technologies from parent company General Motors.

By retaining its predecessor’s dimensions, the new Astra wagon now cuts a comparatively larger silhouette against the hatch, which has shrunk by 50mm in length and 26mm in height while offering a claimed 35mm increase in rear legroom – despite losing 20mm in the wheelbase.

The new ‘K-series’ hatch was revealed in June and will share the Frankfurt show limelight with the wagon.

Drivetrain details for the wagon are not yet confirmed, but will almost certainly mirror the hatch, which in Europe will be offered with an all-turbo range of three- and four-cylinder engines with outputs ranging from 70kW to 147kW.

As GoAuto has reported, Holden believes there is enough room in its range for both the Astra and Cruze to co-exist, making the as yet unconfirmed new Astra a likely arrival to supplement the three-door GTC and flagship VXR models that were reintroduced to Australia with lion badges following the unsuccessful launch of the Opel brand here in 2012 and subsequent withdrawal less than 12 months later.

Once Australian Holden manufacturing ceases in 2017, the next-generation Cruze – also revealed in June – could revert to South Korean sourcing and provide Holden with an entry-level option positioned below the Astra range as a two-pronged small-car offering.

The new Cruze has been shown in sedan form only at this stage but GM has confirmed a hatchback body style is in the works and will be offered in North America, but there is as yet no word on three-door replacements for the current Astra GTC and VXR.

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