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Vauxhall previews the seventh-generation Astra

Vauxhall previews the seventh-generation Astra

Vauxhall has released the images of its seventh-generation Astra, which will reach production later this year from the company's Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire.

Based on new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design and a selection of new powertrains, the Astra will receive its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September (17-27).

As one the UK's top-selling and best-loved cars, the Astra is a household name for British car buyers with over 2.9 million sold in the UK over the last 36 years with over 50,000 last year.

Depending on the model and trim level, the new Astra will be up to 200kgm lighter than its predecessor. The completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in the weight reduction. Every component was checked for compact design and lightweight materials and the body shell weight alone was reduced by 20 per cent from 357kg to 280kg.

In addition, chassis-related measures resulted in a further 50kg weight loss. These include high-strength and ultra-high-strength low-weight steels, compact subframes as well as weight reductions to the front and rear axle.

The powertrain portfolio includes petrol and diesel units ranging from 99bhp to 199bhp.The highlight of the engine range is the new 1.4-litre 145bhp ECOTEC direct injection turbo, a four-cylinder unit from the same family as the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine seen in Corsa, Adam and VIVA. The engine delivers maximum torque of up to 250Nm, with maximum power available between 1,800rpm and 4,000rpm.

Based on its construction, the new 1.4 ECOTEC also adds less weight to the car. The aluminum engine block weighs in at 10kg less than the cast-iron block of the current 1.4-litre turbo. There's also a base-level 1.0 ECOTEC 104bhp petrol engine and a 1.6 CDTi 'Whisper Diesel' range with outputs starting from 109bhp and reaching up to159bhp.

by: Sophie Williamson-Stothert