The first interior pictures of the Vauxhall Astra have been unveiled. The new Vauxhall Astra will debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in September and will reach UK dealers by late this year.
Echoing the flowing forms of its bodywork, the new Vauxhall Astra's interior marks a major shift towards premium design and quality in the UK's compact sector, and continues Vauxhall's design evolution which started five years ago with the current Vauxhall Astra, followed by a further step-change last year with the launch of the Vauxhall Insignia.
The Vauxhall Astra's interior employs the recurring wing and blade motifs that were first introduced in the Vauxhall Insignia and are now used in a fresh and innovative way. The blade theme is expressed in details like the gooseneck shape of the door grab handles and the trim for the gearshift moulding and steering wheel.
As you look at the Vauxhall Astra's wraparound instrument panel, which embraces both front seat occupants, the wing design is immediately visible as it arcs across the cabin into the door-top mouldings. The dashboard has a black, grained finish with a subtly different texture to other mouldings in the cabin.
Ambient lighting enhances the quality feel of the cabin, with lighting points framing the gearbox surround, and providing illumination from above the centre console and within the door handle recesses, depending on trim level.
The feeling of cabin space and depth is augmented by a centre panel mounted at a shallow 30-degree angle, which sweeps down from the top of the instrument panel to the centre console, creating a flowing surface that incorporates the gearshift. Like the Vauxhall Insignia, the Vauxhall Astra's main clocks and gauges are ringed with chrome, with the speedometer and tachometer pods angled inwards towards the driver.
Special emphasis has gone into the design and engineering of the Vauxhall Astra's seats, which now have industry-leading levels of adjustment. Their height can be raised by up to 65mm, while their fore and aft range extends to 280mm, allowing all drivers and passengers to find their ideal seating position. In addition, the Ergonomic Sports Seats (standard in all Elite models) have improved tilt adjustment, four-way power lumbar support, superior side support and supporting foam pads.Published 18 June 2009