Standard electric soft top with remote control, Full seating for four, Roomy interior and large boot, Comprehensive safety package, Two lively, four-valve ECOTEC engines - up to 147PS
The new Vauxhall Astra Coupe Convertible, on sale in the summer, is the first convertible in its class with a remote control electric soft-top as standard.
Vauxhall's dynamically styled two-door model has a fully retracting, electric soft top that opens and closes at the push of a button. Standard remote control makes it even easier to operate.
Thanks to the soft top's good heat insulating properties and the high equipment levels, the new Astra Coupe Convertible is well-suited for everyday, all-year-round use.
It has four full-size seats, lots of interior space, a large boot and two lively yet economical, high-torque ECOTEC engines with power from 125PS to 147PS.
The sporty DSA (Dynamic SAfety) chassis is complemented by ABS and Vauxhall's TC Plus traction control system, both standard. An electronic stability programme (ESP) is available as an option on the 1.8 and 2.2 litre engines from the autumn.
The Astra Coupe Convertible's elegant lines were penned by a team of designers from Vauxhall and Bertone who together created a sporty and stylish design that looks particularly striking when the top is open.
With the soft top stowed beneath its cover, the belt line rises towards the rear of the car with no bulging fabric, no visible roll bar and no triangular window at the A-pillar to disturb the clear-cut lines or impair the 360-degree visibility.
Exterior details such as the door handles, side skirts and mirror housings are painted in body colour. Darkened tail-lights and a chrome strip on the trunk lid emphasise the open-air Astra's exclusive appearance.
Open air motoring
Owners can react quickly the moment they catch the first glimpse of the sun: opening the soft top is easy. Press the button on the centre console and the soft top folds together automatically before disappearing beneath the flush cover of its sheet metal case. Opening or closing the roof takes no more than 30 seconds.
The remote-control for the three-layer soft-top, is operated by the standard central locking function in the key. If one of the two buttons is pressed for longer than two seconds, the soft top opens or closes automatically.
The Astra Coupe Convertible is designed first and foremost for open-air enthusiasts, yet it has all the advantages of an all-year compact-class car. The stylish new model has plenty of rear legroom thanks to its long wheelbase of 102.6 inches (2606mm). Its overall length is 168 inches (4267mm).
The heated rear window is made of scratch-resistant glass. The soft top case compartment is part of the sheet-metal structure and so adds even more rigidity to the already stable body structure. Luggage capacity is above average at 330 litres (VDA standard test method).
A windbreaker is optional and can be stored on rails under the case when it is not needed. So it is always available but never in the way. The standard load-through facility between the two rear seats is big enough for two pairs of skis and one snowboard, and the boot can easily accommodate two sets of golf clubs.
Apart from the electric soft top and remote-control central locking, additional convenience features include electric front and rear windows, easy-entry sport seats and height/reach adjustment for the steering wheel. Leather seats are available as an option.
The extensive safety package includes active head restraints on the front-seats (to reduce the risk of whiplash-related neck injuries), Vauxhall's patented pedal release system (to improve protection for the driver against foot and lower leg injuries in severe frontal impact), front airbags, side airbags (option), three-point belts at all four seats and belt tensioners at the front. Roll-over protection is provided by reinforced A-pillars at the front and foam-covered steel head-restraint frames at the rear.
Buyers can choose between two lively ECOTEC, four-cylinder engines with four-valve technology - the 1.8 125PS and the all aluminium 2.2 engine with 147PS on tap, which gives the car a 135mph top speed.
Both engines are notable for their pulling power, performance and low fuel consumption. Both also comply with Euro 4 emission standards, although the ruling does not come into force until 2005.
The Convertible has the Astra's DSA (Dynamic SAfety) suspension that provides both agile handling and ample safety reserves.
The Vauxhall Astra Coupe Convertible is manufactured together with the Astra Coupe at Bertone's Grugliasco plant near Turin. Prices will be announced closer to launch date.
Highlights include (2.2 16v):
• Electrically powered fully retracting roof
• Fully automated roof operation via remote control or facia mounted switch
• Glass heated rear window
• Twin front airbags
• Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
• ETC-Plus traction control with two-way intervention
• 6J x 16 alloy wheels
• 205/50 R 16 ultra-low profile tyres
• Sports instrument dials
• Cruise control
• Trip computer
• CDR 600 stereo radio/CD player
• Four-disc CD autochanger
• Steering wheel mounted audio controls
• Sports front seats with extendable thigh-support cushions
• Integral front fog lights
• Remote control security alarm
• Remote control central deadlocking
• Heat reflective windscreen
• Electrically operated front and rear windows
• Electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors
• LED centre brake light