Opel unveils sedan sibling for upcoming Astra

Opel unveils sedan sibling for upcoming Astra
Opel has lifted the lid on its first Astra sedan since the TS-series was replaced by the previous hatch/wagon/coupe-only AH generation in 2004, and it could join the all-new Astra five-door that will spearhead the German car-maker’s introduction as a stand-alone brand Down Under in August.

Opel Australia has confirmed it will launch with the light-sized Corsa hatch (in three- and five-door guises), the small Astra (hatch, wagon and GTC coupe) and mid-size Insignia (sedan and wagon).

It is also considering the large Zafira people-mover and the compact Meriva people-mover (which has just been made available with an automatic transmission in Europe), as well as the all-new premium Adam city-hatch and the all-new Mokka city-SUV.

Now, while Opel says its initial focus will be on the Astra hatch - which is expected to be the ‘near-premium’ brand’s top-selling model in Australia, where it will be a direct rival for Volkswagen’s Golf – it has not ruled out releasing the new Astra sedan alongside the hatch and wagon.

“The Astra sedan is definitely a great looking car,” Opel Australia Public Relations and Events Manager Melanie Kerin told motoring.com.au.

“(But) With regards to the launch in Australia we are focussed on the Astra hatch and tourer. Further down the track we may take a closer look at the Astra sedan, but at this stage we’re not confirming it for Australia.”

Holden says that, for now, the larger Insignia four-door will satisfy Opel sedan buyers in Australia, where the four-door Astra would be positioned above the locally built Cruze (which starts from $21,490 in both hatch and sedan form) to compete directly with VW’s Golf-based Jetta sedan (from $26,490).

“We are very excited about our Insignia and think it is a strong initial offering for those seeking a sedan,” said Ms Kerin.

The fourth body derivative of Opel’s top-selling model globally – following the hatch, wagon and coupe – will be available to order in Europe from June, before it makes its world debut at the Moscow Auto Salon on August 29.

The Astra sedan’s debut in Europe’s second largest market comes as no surprise, given that more than 60 per cent of all sedans purchased in Europe are sold in Russia, where just over half of all small cars sold last year were sedans. Russia - the third biggest market for the Astra in Europe – is expected to become Europe’s biggest single market with up to 3.4 million annual vehicle sales by 2014.

While sedans account for almost half of all small sedans sold in Australia, they remain relatively unpopular in Western Europe. However, Opel says it also sees significant sales opportunities for the four-door Astra “as an elegant, more affordable alternative to sedans from the upper segment” in markets like Germany and Spain.

Like its hatchback namesake, the Astra sedan will be launched in Europe with four petrol engines and three diesels, including a fuel-efficient 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX model that emits 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Opel said that next year the range will be joined by its new turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-litre SIDI ECOTEC four-cylinder petrol engine.

Riding on a 2685mm wheelbase and measuring 4658mm long, 1814mm wide and 1476 mm high overall, the new Astra ‘notchback’ offers a 460-litre boot – which is 90 litres larger than the five-door Astra’s cargo space (but smaller than the Astra Tourer’s) and can be extended to 1010 litres via a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

Optional wheels of up to 19-inch in diameter will be available for Europe’s Astra sedan, which Opel claims is the most stylish small sedan on the market.

“We believe that the Astra four-door sedan we’re now launching is the best proportioned and most stylish notchback currently available in the compact segment,” said Opel Vice President of Design, Mark Adams.

 Opel unveils sedan sibling for upcoming Astra

Opel unveils sedan sibling for upcoming Astra

Opel unveils sedan sibling for upcoming Astra
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