Itís sleek, itís stylish, and itís going to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show (25 September Ė 10 October, 2004). The latest addition to the highly regarded new Astra family, the eagerly awaited new Astra three-door, is a stunning design that boasts expressive, dynamic looks, and a promise of real driving excitement.
At launch, new Astra three-door will be available with a choice of four petrol and three common-rail diesel engines with power outputs from 90 to 170 hp Ė and all engines comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard. Furthermore, a VXR model with a power output in excess of 230 hp, more extreme styling and sharper handling will be revealed later this year and go on sale in summer 2005.
As well as offering a wide and usable range of engines, Astra three-door boasts up-to-the-minute technology that is exclusive to Vauxhall in the compact class and further enhances the carís dynamics. For example, drivers can specify a networked IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and steering-linked AFL headlamps (Adaptive Forward Lighting).
With such impressive engines, safety in Astra three-door is key and is ensured by the carís extensive protection system, which was instrumental in Euro NCAP awarding the five-door Astra a maximum five star rating. As such, the three-door Astra was designed using the proven technology and equipment of the Astra hatch and estate variants.
Little has changed from the stunning GTC concept first shown at Geneva in 2003. Its striking shape was achieved by incorporating sporty proportions with short overhangs, distinctive rear lights and a more pronounced tapering at the front and rear. In addition, the arched sloping roof and the angular rear side windows create a particularly taut profile, while the wide, sculpted shoulders accentuate the powerful shape of the body, which sits around 15 millimetres lower than the five-door. Furthermore, the carís already stunning looks are accentuated by an optional panoramic windscreen Ė making its own world premiere in the three-door model Ė which extends to the B-pillar and creates a vast sense of space.
However, despite these sleek lines, Astra three-door offers impressive space and everyday usefulness. It has folding rear seats (60:40 split) for more flexible use of interior space and two adults can travel comfortably in the back.
The promises of the Astraís dynamic looks translate into serious action on the road, thanks to the IDS chassis (Interactive Driving System), the optional IDSPlus adaptive chassis system with electronic damping control (CDC), ESPPlus and the networking of all electronic chassis systems. In addition, in some models the driver can activate a sport set-up at the touch of a button (SportSwitch) which regulates damper adjustment as well as accelerator-pedal and power steering response. In conjunction with the automatic transmission, gearshift points are also modified for a sportier driving style.
Friedhelm Engler, Astra Chief Designer and Director, Design Integration, GM Europe, adds: ďWe intensified the emotion of the three-doorís looks compared to the other Astra models. It has a sleek design and represents the most dynamic expression of the new Astra range. That is of course not achieved by simply reducing the number of doors on an existing model.Ē
The Astra three-door is manufactured in Antwerp, Belgium, where the five-door model and the estate are also produced. Planned annual capacity for the three-door model is around 70,000 units. The Astra three-door goes on sale in spring 2005 with prices to be announced nearer the on sale date.