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Frankfurt show: Opel to debut fresh Astra

Next-generation Opel Astra teased just a week after Aussie launch of current version

Opel logo7 May 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

GENERAL Motors' German branch Opel has announced it will unveil the next-generation Astra at this year's Frankfurt motor show in September, but it is unclear if the new hatch will reach Australian shores.

Shown wearing heavy camouflage, Opel says the all-new Astra has been developed from a clean sheet with a strong focus on efficiency.

Opel Group CEO Karl-Thomas Neuman said the new Astra will be a game-changer for the small-car segment, promising to move the market forward in terms of innovation.

“Right now, our Opel engineering teams are preparing the next-generation Astra,” he said. “It will be a completely new car.

“One word summaries the new Astra from an engineering point of view. Efficiency.

“Our new Astra will redefine the compact-car segment, with German engineering, best-in-class connectivity and emotional design for a very affordable price.”

Smaller exterior proportions and a higher-volume interior are specifically cited as big changes for the new car, while a completely redesigned front fascia, with new headlights and front grille, update the styling.

A pivotal role in increasing efficiency will be reducing weight, simultaneously improving fuel economy and emissions output, and increasing handling and agility.

Although no engines have been confirmed for the next-generation Astra, Opel has promised “state-of-the-art” powerplants. These are likely to be some new engines as well as retuned versions of the current inline four-cylinder donks, that ranges from a 64kW/130Nm 1.4-litre naturally aspirated unit up to the range-topping VXR's 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

Dr Neuman did not reveal too many details during the three-minute promotional video, only promising a compelling small-car package in-line with previous Astras.

“When you drive it, expect a lot of pleasure and precision at its steering wheel and expect it to save lots of fuel costs,” he said.

“Several generations of Astra have brought innovative technologies from the upper class into the affordable compact segment.

“Each generation has raised the bar in safety, comfort and efficiency.

“The new Astra will once again set standards in the compact class.”

News of the next Astra arrives a week after GM Holden relaunched the Astra nameplate following a seven-year absence from its line-up.

GM Holden product communications senior manager Kate Lonsdale told GoAuto that the new Astra is still too far away to make an announcement, and added the company was busy promoting the current car.

“We just launched the current-gen Astra, so our focus is definitely on that at the moment,” she said.

“We review every vehicle that becomes available to us, it certainly sounds very exciting from the snippets they've given us and we've made a commitment that more and more of our cars will come from Europe, but as far as any new announcements, you'll just have to watch this space.”

The new Astra will make it's public debut during the Frankfurt motor show in Germany which kicks off from September 15.

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