Par stef V le 12 Mai 2009 à 22:50NOUVELLE OPEL ASTRA / NEW Vauxhall ASTRA
A completely new car: With a bold design language and ambitious technology, the next Astra redefines the compact class in 2009.
“The Opel Insignia has newly interpreted the mid-size segment. Now, with its dynamic design and innovative technology – much of which has been the preserve of higher-class vehicles before now – the new Astra generation will continue the pioneering role of its large model brother,” says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer at GM Europe, describing the future model. “To put it in a nutshell, the next Astra will carry the spirit of the Insignia into the compact class.”
The all new fourth Astra generation will make its world debut as a five-door hatchback at the 2009 IAA (September 17–27) in Frankfurt, Germany. “Sculptural artistry meets German precision – that was our design claim with the Insignia and it remains so with the new Astra but with an even more sporty presence,” explains Mark Adams, Vice President of Design at GM Europe. “The present Astra already combines a high level of technical substance with emotional styling. You can see that most clearly with the Astra GTC. With the next Astra generation we are taking another big step forward in both respects and emphasizing its sporty credentials.”
With its flowing lines, the next Astra will carry on from the Insignia. At the same time, it will pick up on design features that have been found in many models throughout Opel’s history– especially in the compact class. The integrated front headlamps of the first Kadett of 1936 are one example. Another is the aerodynamic design of the 1984 Kadett E. Other areas in which the next Astra will evolve the Opel language are its proportions, which give the car its sporty and muscular look. Typical style characteristics of the new, finer design language– elements like the flowing dynamic surfaces, the signature sculpted blade and the warm, wrap-around interior theme with wing-line sweep that links the instrument panel to the door – are found in modified form in the new compact class model. Also characteristic is the high attention to detail and craftsmanship. It could well set new standards in its class.
Hans Demant, Managing Director Adam Opel GmbH, referring to the present Astra, whets people’s appetite for the next generation: “Just think of all the innovations Opel has introduced into the previous compact class generations. Moreover, the current Astra is the most innovative compact class model Opel has ever built. It cost us a great deal of effort, but it has placed us among the leaders in the market on a permanent basis. It made the development of the next Astra generation an even bigger challenge, but it was one we were pleased to take up.”
With technical innovations like the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) headlamp system, which has been taken to a higher level and supplemented by new functions, and the “Opel Eye,” the new compact class generation will once again assume an outstanding position in this segment.
The all-new chassis will be mated with equally new engines designed following the right-sizing concept that combines high low-end torque with moderate fuel consumption.
Versatility is another traditional strength of Opel vehicles, as demonstrated by the FlexFix integrated rear end carrier in the Corsa and Antara. The new Astra will also pick up on clever and practical ideas like this.
The Opel philosophy has always been to make top-level innovative technology affordable for a wide range of buyers. Accordingly, the new compact class generation will offer plenty of comfort and safety features that have previously been confined to higher segments. Here are just two of the many examples.
When it made its debut in the Insignia, the driver assistance system “Opel Eye” created considerable buzz as a safety innovation. In the compact class, the camera system will create at least as much of a stir. “Opel Eye” will make driving the Astra safer. A camera integrated between the interior mirror and the windshield assists drivers in two ways. The traffic sign recognition function scans traffic signs that indicate speed limits or overtaking bans and displays them in the instrument panel. In addition, a lane departure warning alerts drivers if they unintentionally leave their chosen lane. Both systems improve traffic safety, reduce stress and help avoid expensive fines.
NEXT GENERATION CORNERING LIGHT
Around 80 percent of all road accidents occur at night. This is where the upgraded AFL system in the next Astra comes into its own, helping drivers to see better at night. It is also evidence of how Opel is democratizing active safety. The Astra H was the first compact class car to offer AFL lighting with steering-linked bi-xenon headlamps. The AFL system on this next generation will offer a variety of light functions, providing better visibility because AFL automatically adapts to different road and driving conditions.
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