Lighter, tech laden Opel Astra makes debut

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 18, 2016

With concerns about its future and indeed local availability now well and truly put out to greener pastures, General Motors South Africa has officially announced pricing details of much awaited eleventh generation Opel Astra.

Now known internally as the Astra K, the newcomer, which walked away with the 2016 European Car of the Year Award in February, is set to rate as the Russelsheim based firm’s most feature rich model currently offered, and one it claims represents “a quantum leap” for the marque in the highly competitive premium C-segment.

Taking a number of styling hints from the Monza plug-in concept coupe shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the newcomer drops the previous Delta II platform for GM’s new D2XX, which claimed to shave between 120 and 200 kg off from the previous Astra J.

The cut in down in weight also extends the actual body which drops from 357 kg to 280 kg using a technique known as body-in-white, which essentially involves the welding together of the all sheetmetal components. In addition, the chassis is now 80 kg lighter than before while the wheelbase has been reduced by 49 mm and height dropped by 25 mm.

Available as an option only on the flagship Sport, the Astra can be have with Opel’s brand new IntelliLux LED Matrix headlight system, which can be individually adjusted using an improved version of the Opel Eye front camera that recognises oncoming traffic and ambient lighting such as street lights.

New safety item include Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Following Distance Indication, Forward Collision Alert with Low Speed Collision Mitigation Braking, Side Blind Spot Alert, Advanced Park Assist and with rear-view camera, Cornering Brake Control and brake-based Torque Vectoring Control.

Inside, the Astra K does away with the often criticised button festooned dashboard in favour of a new seven-inch touchscreen display incorporating Opel’s Intellilink 4.0 media interface that not only boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but also satellite navigation (optional on Sport), Bluetooth audio streaming and DAB+ digital radio.

Underneath the bonnet, the Astra now makes exclusive use of GM’s Small and Medium Gasoline petrol engines with the range consisting of eight models and two transmission options.

Starting the range off, the base Essentia and mid-spec Enjoy use a slightly detuned version of the acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoFLEX three cylinder engine used in the Corsa and Adam, with power dropping from 85 kW to 77 kW and torque remaining unchanged at 170 N.m.

A five-speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels with Opel claiming a 0-100 km/h dash of 11.2 secs and top speed 200 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 4.3 L/100 km and emissions well below the 120 g/km tax bracket at 99 g/km.

Offered in both Enjoy and Sport trim, the familiar 1.4-litre EcoFLEX now punches out 110 kW and 230 N.m of torque, with the latter figure rising to 245 N.m when paired with the six-speed automatic. A six-manual is again standard on both trim with the aforementioned auto box being optional.

Top speed is rated at 215 km/h for both with the manual going from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 secs and the auto taking 0.5 secs longer. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.1 and 5.5 L/100 km respectively, with emissions coming in at 117 and 127 g/km.

Completing the range, the flagship Sport and new Sport Plus make use of a 1.6-litre EcoFLEX engine that churns out 147 kW and 280 N.m, with latter rising to 300 N.m of torque with overboost. Like the previous Sport, only the manual box is offered with Opel claiming a 0-100 km/h dash of seven secs and top speed of 235 km/h. Combined consumption is a rated at 6.1 L/100 km and emissions at 141 g/km.

Although offered in Europe with outputs of 70 kW / 280 N.m, 81 kW / 300 N.m and 100 kW / 320 N.m in single turbo form and 118 kW / 400 N.m in bi-turbo spec, it remains unlikely that Opel will offer its acclaimed 1.6-litre CDTi diesel engine on local shores.

A five-year / 120 000 km warranty and five year / 90 000 km service plan is standard fare on all models.

 

PRICING

MODEL POWER PRICE
1.0T Essentia 77 kW / 170 N.m R254 000
1.0T Enjoy 77 kW / 170 N.m R284 300
1.4T Enjoy 110 kW / 230 N.m R328 000
1.4T Enjoy AT 110 kW / 245 N.m R338 000
1.4T Sport 110 kW / 230 N.m R354 000
1.4T Sport AT 110 kW / 245 N.m R374 000
1.6T Sport 147 kW / 300 N.m R387 000
1.6T Sport Plus 147 kW / 300 N.m R407 000