Bold new 2022 Opel Astra breaks cover
Opel has unveiled its all-new sixth-generation Astra hatchback that will soon start rolling off the manufacturer's production facility in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Built on the same platform as its Stellantis stablemates the Peugeot 308 and Citroën C4, this striking newcomer is 4mm longer, 51mm wider and 13mm longer in wheelbase than the model it replaces. For a sleeker silhouette the roofline has been lowered by 15mm.
It also adopts Opel's radical new 'Vizor' face that sees a gloss black fascia spanning the length of the front grille between the headlamps. Bolstered by the presence of a large lower radiator grille and a dramatically creased bonnet the new Opel Astra is certainly a looker and, dare we say it, a far more aggressive alternative to its old rival, the VW Golf.
The interior mirrors the car's futuristic exterior with Opel's new 10-inch 'Pure Panel' digital instrument cluster replacing the analogue dials of old. Customers can also look forward to a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality), 360-degree view camera, head-up display (HUD) as well as the company's latest Intelli-Drive 2.0 semi-automated driving assist technology.
This time around physical switchgear has been kept to a bare minimum and as such the cockpit of the new Astra is surprisingly minimalist — especially when compared to that of its somewhat chaotic predecessor. There are a few key shortcut buttons present but for the most part all of the car's functions and settings are accessible via the touchscreen.
Kicking things off in the engine department is a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol motor available in two states of tune — 81kW or 96kW. Next up is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel twisting out 96kW. All three of these engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission though an eight-speed auto is available as an option.
Those seeking more oomph will have a choice of two plug-in hybrid models where a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with either 110kW or 132kW is paired to an 81kW electric motor juiced by a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a combined power rating of 132kW or 165kW respectively. Here an eight-speed auto is standard equipment. Both variants will sport a maximum said all-electric driving range of up to 50km.
The new sixth-generation Opel Astra will go on sale in Europe during the first quarter of 2022. Whether it makes its way out to Mzansi remains to be seen.