These are the first official images of the new, British-built Saturn Astra. Known as the Opel or Vauxhall Astra in European markets, it will debut as a five-door hatchback at September's Frankfurt Show.
Marking the sixth generation of Astra in 30 years, the new car's design team was led by Mark Adams. They created a strong, cab-forward silhouette, steeply-raked windscreen and sloping rear roofline thanks to over 600 hours in the wind tunnel, benefiting performance, economy and overall refinement.
Underpinning the Astra's rakish body, is a new chassis with a longer wheelbase, benefiting both passenger comfort and packaging. With wider track and a new rear axle design, stability and agility have been improved.
Enhancing the Astra's dynamic performance further is the option of Vauxhall's FlexRide system, which offers drivers three damper settings - standard, sport and tour - while being fully adaptive to changes in driving style and cornering speed.
Unique in this sector will be the Astra's optional, AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting), which features bi-xenon lighting that changes its intensity and reach to suit prevailing road conditions.
The highlight of the new Astra's powertrain line-up is the introduction of an all-new, 140hp turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline unit, which offers reduced emissions/fuel consumption, while retaining the performance of larger capacity. The 1.4T joins three further gasoline engines, which range from 100hp to 180hp, and four diesel engines ranging from 95hp to 160hp.
While the new car is a vital addition to GM's European divisions, there is speculation about whether it will come to the US, especially since there is discussion over the future of the Saturn range.