The usual German trio – if we count the fact that Ford’s European unit has such a heritage – is once again complete: Volkswagen’s Golf is in its seventh generation, Ford’s third generation Focus has been redesigned this year and the Opel Astra has reached its fifth generation.
The German subsidiary of General Motors, Opel AG, has recently revealed the first photos and details about the upcoming Astra K, the compact car designed to compete against the VW and Ford brands and a key model if the division wants to reach profitability in Europe in the near future. To better compete with its archrivals, the sportier new Astra has been lightened and shortened from the current generation – though internal room has actually been augmented. Opel added it would come with new infotainment and lighting technologies in a bid to secure an edge over its German rivals – the Golf and Focus. The automaker announced the new generation Astra was based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture, dropping the curb weight by 120 to 200 kilograms, depending on the variant. The design has followed the current run of the mill upgrade instead of revolution mode, with the most striking change, believe it or not, being a divided C-pillar – which designers sought to create the appearance of a floating roof.
Featuring a more muscular appearance, the car is around 50 mm shorter and 26 mm lower, with the drag coefficient below 0.30 – the wheelbase is also shorter, but the interior layout compensates the reduction and grants an extra 35 mm of legroom to the rear passengers. Engines will also follow the principle of reduction, with gasoline and diesel displacements of up to 1.6 liters for a range of new, fuel-efficient versions.
Via Automotive News Europe