These are the first official pictures of the new Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, which will receive its debut at the Paris Motor Show in September 2010 and hit UK showrooms by the end of the year.
The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will be the second model to join the new Vauxhall Astra range, which has now sold over 28,000 units in the UK (to end of May) since its launch last December, and has helped the Vauxhall Astra become Britain's best-selling retail range in the first five months of this year.
Combining high levels of practicality, clothed in a typically sleek and rakish body from Brit, Mark Adams' design team, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will be available to order from the start of October 2010.
Crucially, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and its hatch sibling will also be among the first Vauxhall models to adopt Start/Stop technology, reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Illustrating the depth of Vauxhall's engineering and manufacturing excellence in the UK, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will be assembled solely at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, while its new upper-body structure has been 100 per cent engineered at Vauxhall Engineering Centre in Bedfordshire. And like the recently launched Vauxhall Astra hatch, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will feature key dynamic elements tuned for UK roads.
Packed with clever features, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer maintains the hatch's wheelbase (2685mm), yet its superior packaging has allowed the maximum load length to be increased by 28mm to 1835mm, and its load volume by 30 litres to 500 litres with the rear seats up.
As well as boasting a cargo area with flat wall linings to fully optimise available space, a new FlexFold feature (standard or optional depending on trim level) allows each section of the 60:40 split-fold rear seatbacks to be lowered at the press of a button housed in the walls of the cargo compartment. In addition, with the rear seat cushions folded up against the front seat-backs, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer has a completely flat load floor and a maximum load capacity of up to 1550 litres.
But improved interior practicality doesn't stop there. Compared with the current Vauxhall Astra estate, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer has an additional 25 litres of storage space in the cabin, 50 per cent more than before. And like its hatch sibling, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer also benefits from the option of Vauxhall's award winning Ergonomic Sports Seats, providing front occupants with best-in-class comfort.
In keeping with Vauxhall's commitment to bringing premium features to the compact segment, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will also adopt the option of Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), which has eight different bi-xenon settings and automatically adapts the headlights according to weather and road conditions.
The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer's exterior design aims to raise the bar in the compact-estate market, bringing a touch of class and dynamism, without compromising the car's high levels of practicality. The tapered profile, falling roofline and prominent 'blades' set into the sides of the car are complemented by a muscular shoulder line, which leads gracefully into eye-catching sculpted rear light units.
Inside, occupants will benefit from the same embracing, premium cabin as in the new Astra hatch, with features like the wraparound wing front fascia and unique ambient lighting.
From launch, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer buyers will have a choice of six frugal, yet lively engines, with an ultra-low emissions, Start/Stop-equipped ecoFLEX model available soon afterwards.
The petrol line-up starts with the 100PS 1.4i ECOTEC-4 with variable valve timing and sequential fuel injection, while a 1.6i ECOTEC-4 with 115PS is also available. The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer's most powerful petrol engine will be the smooth and punchy 1.4i Turbo which produces 140PS, yet achieves a combined fuel consumption of 45.6mpg and CO2emissions of 145g/km.
A new ecoFLEX model will be available soon after launch and will be one of the first Vauxhall models to get Start/Stop technology. Based on the 1.3 CDTi 95PS engine, the ecoFLEX features a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and variable geometry turbocharger.
Two 1.7-litre CDTis, with either 110 or 125PS, and a 160PS 2.0 CDTi, which combines high performance with 55.4mpg combined economy and emissions of just 134g/km, complete the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer's diesel engine range.
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