A new and updated Vauxhall Astra is expected in 2015, and the picture above shows how it could look. It will likely take styling cues from the Vauxhall Opel Monza coupe, which we drove earlier this year.
As our exclusive image shows, the wing motif in the grille has been updated compared with the current generation, the headlights are far more straight-edged and the large intakes give the impression that it’s lower and wider. A few styling touches remain, though, such as the spine down the centre of the bonnet.
The shots in our gallery above are our best look yet at the all-new Vauxhall Astra. Previously, we’d only seen a grainy shot of the new hatchback, but now we have a full set of shots of a camouflaged prototype model, while our exclusive image lets you see what’s underneath the cladding.
What’s clear is that the Astra has grown – the bonnet is longer and more sculpted, while at the rear there’s a larger overhang.
A more prominent crease on the flank, which stretches from the A-pillar to the tail-lamp, is also noticeable. The styling revamp – including the bold front end and more curvaceous panels – is clearly inspired by the Monza concept seen at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Look out for mechanical upgrades, with the recently introduced 114bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine likely to feature, giving Vauxhall a direct rival to the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine found in the Ford Focus. More efficient versions of the 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines are expected, too.
The new Astra is due to arrive in 2015 and will be built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, in Cheshire. The current Astra and Astra Sports Tourer are produced at Ellesmere Port, and the new car is set to be built there as part of a £125million investment which will generate a total of 700 new jobs and secure 2,100 others.
Production of the next-generation Astra will begin in 2015, and the agreement - which lasts until the early 2020s - is for a minimum of 160,000 cars to be built every year.
When it arrives, it’ll get the company’s latest engines, including the 114bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo used as the Monza’s range extender. That’ll give Vauxhall a rival to Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost Focus. Expect to see the recently released 1.6-litre turbo petrol and 1.6 diesel as well, along with new gearboxes.
The brand’s Intellilink system will be included in the new Vauxhall Astra, allowing buyers to connect smartphones and apps for things like Internet radio and sat-nav.
As with previous generations of the Astra, different bodystyles will be offered. Although the spy shots show the more practical five-door, a sportier three-door and estate are also set to be made available. There’s no official word on cost, but the starting price shouldn’t stray too far from the current model’s entry-level £12,995.