New Car: 2011 Opel/Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer

Get a load of the new Vauxhall Astra estate. These are the first official pictures of the carrier, which will be badged Sport Tourer, following its Insignia big brother.

It’s the second model in the Astra range, and is due to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Order books will open later that month, with the car hitting UK dealers by the end of the year.

The styling builds on the themes of the five-door, with an identical front end, but a larger tail for added practicality. Note the wide rear access and low boot lip for extra convenience, plus the bold Griffin badge between the light clusters.

Lift the tailgate, and the Sports Tourer should score well on practicality. Detailed pictures will be released closer to the car’s launch, but customers are promised a cargo area with flat wall linings to make the most of the available space. Vauxhall’s FlexFold system allows each section of the 60:40 split-fold rear seatbacks to be lowered simply by pressing a button housed in the boot walls.

Maximum load length is increased by 28mm over the hatchback – it’s now 1,835mm – while load volume with the rear seats in place is up by 30 litres to 500 litres. Fold the bench flat, and the capacity rises to 1,550 litres.

As the car is likely to appeal most to family buyers, Vauxhall has worked hard to enhance the cabin’s practicality. In total, there is 25 litres more cubbyhole space than in the outgoing Astra estate.

The Sports Tourer is another Brit hit for Vauxhall. It’s being built alongside the hatch at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was penned by UK designer Mark Adams and developed and tested at the company’s Engineering Centre in Bedfordshire.

From launch, customers will have the choice of six engines. Petrol options comprise a 98bhp 1.4, a 113bhp 1.6 and a 1.4-litre turbo with 137bhp. Diesel fans will be able to take their pick from 1.7-litre units with 108bhp or 123bhp, plus a 2.0-litre CDTI delivering 157bhp. The latter promises 55.4mpg economy and 134g/km CO2 emissions.

A new ecoFLEX model is due early in the new year – this will be one of the first Vauxhalls to get stop-start technology. It’s based on the 93bhp 1.3-litre diesel Astra, and uses a particulate filter and variable geometry turbo to give anticipated 70mpg economy and sub-110g/km emissions.

But whichever version you go for, the Astra estate should drive as well as the hatch. Engineers say the UK-specific steering has been carried over, and Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive suspension will be available as an option. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

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