The Astra Diet: How latest Vauxhall hatch lost up to 200kg

We look at the strict weight loss regime that’s helped Vauxhall make a leaner Astra

The new Vauxhall Astra underwent a serious weight-saving regime that saw up to 200kg shaved off the total weight compared to its predecessor. But where exactly does that huge weight loss come from?

-77kg Bodywork

The new Astra looks slimmed down compared to its predecessor, and that comes from the smaller bodyshell. The main structure has the biggest weight loss of any part – it’s slashed by a huge 77kg. New processes have helped, too, so the unpainted body structure is over 20 per cent lighter, down from 357kg to 280kg. The design is based on the Monza Concept seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2013.

-50kg Chassis

-4.4kg rear axle -11.5kg reduced wheel & tyre diameter -10kg brake system

The chassis has undergone a complete overhaul, with a whole array of components being made lighter. This includes modified front and rear suspension, with softer springs to help improve handling on the road. Plus, high-strength lightweight steels have been used in the more compact subframes.

The smaller wheels and tyres weigh up to 11.5kg less, too. The same is true for the brakes; because the Astra is so much lighter than before, the system has less mass to decelerate, so a more compact design weighing 10kg less was possible. And all while it delivers even better braking performance than its predecessor.

-11kg Electronics

The new Astra is full of tech, like OnStar and matrix-beam headlights. Yet this hasn’t stopped designers slashing weight. While fully loaded top-spec cars will weigh more, they’re still at least 120kg lighter than before.

-10kg Engine block

Vauxhall’s new 1.4-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo makes its debut under the bonnet of the new Astra, and weighs much less than other similar engines. The aluminium block alone is 10kg lighter than the cast-iron block of its predecessor. More efficient engines and the lower overall weight mean the Mk7 hatch is capable of emitting only 88g/km of CO2.

-10kg Transmission

The entire transmission set-up, including clutch, flywheel and gearbox, has been redesigned to be as compact as possible. And because the whole car weighs less than before, the ultra-modern transmission has less work to do.

-10kg Seat structures

A development team spent five years designing the new compact seats, providing more space and weight-saving features than ever before while still ensuring comfort. Lighter polyurethane foams have been used in construction, and ultra-high-strength steels are built in under the robust upholstery to strip back weight. All the work means the new Astra’s front and rear seats are a total of 10kg lighter than those in the previous version. 

-4.5kg Exhaust system

The smallest saving has been made in the exhaust system, but this is still impressive as it’s already a lightweight set-up. The new exhaust weighs up to 25 per cent less than in past models, saving around 4.5kg overall.

Reduced dimensions and overhangs

The new Astra is nearly 5cm shorter than its predecessor, at 4.37 metres long. It’s also 1.48 metres tall and 1.81 metres wide, which is 2.5cm lower and 0.5cm narrower than the previous generation.

Optimised aerodynamics

Engineers decided against full underbody panelling to further optimise the chassis and drivetrain aerodynamics. The double benefit was lower weight and reduced production costs.

Vauxhall Astra Special

Recommended

New Vauxhall Astra-e: electric hatchback set for 2023 launch
Vauxhall Astra PHEV - full front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra-e: electric hatchback set for 2023 launch

The new all-electric Vauxhall Astra-e will join the hatchback's line-up in 2023, and could boast a range of around 250 miles
1 Sep 2021
New Vauxhall Astra Mk8: powertrain, economy and performance details uncovered
Vauxhall Astra - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra Mk8: powertrain, economy and performance details uncovered

The new Mk8 Vauxhall Astra arrives with plug-in hybrid drivetrains, while there is also an all-electric version on the way
1 Sep 2021
Best used hatchbacks 2021
Best used hatchbacks - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hatchbacks 2021

We round up the best used hatchbacks for 2021 - cars that are great for practicality, running costs and comfort
18 Aug 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021

Most Popular

New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch
Michelin Uptis
News

New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch

The new airless Michelin Uptis is made from rubber and fibreglass and promises to be longer lasting, fuel-saving and recyclable
20 Oct 2021
New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range
Hyundai Ioniq 6 - watermarked
Hyundai

New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range

The new Hyundai Ioniq 6 saloon will join the Ioniq 5 in the brand’s all-electric line-up and our exclusive image previews how it could look
21 Oct 2021