Vauxhall’s smart new British-made Astra Sports Tourer made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new car, which is 200kg lighter than the old model and packs some interesting technology for the market sector, is set to increase production volumes over those of the outgoing model at the Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire.
The latest generation Sports Tourer is the same size as the old car, with a length of 4702mm and a width of 1871mm (so it’s still not exactly small – about the same length as a Rover 800), but Vauxhall says its roomier inside and has a larger load area. Like the Ford Focus, you can now open the tailgate without a touch or a remote control, just kick under the rear bumper, and you’re away.
Like the hatch, the Sports Tourer is offered with a wide range of engines including petrol and diesel units ranging from 98 to 197bhp, including an all-new 1.4-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo and the recently-launched 1.6-litre CDTi Whisper Diesel. Its completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in the weight reduction – the body shell weight alone was reduced by 20% from 357kg to 280kg.
It’s connected with OnStar, a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery alert. The Sports Tourer is also one of the first vehicles from a mainstream manufacturer to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available through a new version of the IntelliLink infotainment system.