Vauxhall has released the first official pictures of the new 2010 Astra hatch, due out in late 2009.
Although more of an evolution than revolution, the hatch bears the same coupe-like styling as the likes of the new Renault Megane and other European hatches, and also features the blade design as seen on the new Insignia.
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The interior also shows a move towards the styling motifs of the Insignia, on door grab handles and the trim for the gearshift moulding and steering wheel.
The new dash is a wraparound instrument panel, which features a black, grained finish. Ambient lighting will also move the Astra on in terms of interior style, with more lighting features higher up the range.
The centre panel sweeps down from the top of the instrument panel to the centre console, incorporating the gearshift. Main clocks and gauges are ringed with chrome.
The new Astra’s seats can be raised by up to 65mm, while their fore and aft range extends to 280mm, while Ergonomic Sports Seats have improved tilt adjustment, four-way power lumbar support, superior side support and supporting foam pads, according to Vauxhall.
Vauxhall says it rethought storage options in the new Astra, inspired by the question of what people actually used gloveboxes for.
As a result storage is optimised towards the shape of storage space, and not just volume. A hard-shelled sunglass case has been inserted above the door opening on the driver’s side; coin slots and pen holders are moulded into the inside edge of the glove box lid; and the glove box itself has two removable compartments, while a second mini-glove box has been added just below the light switch.
The centre console can accommodate nine CD cases, as well as having a small storage area and an insert for two cup holders. There’s also the option of an under-seat drawer beneath the passenger seat which is big enough to hold a pair of shoes.
Rear passengers get a 12-volt connection available for mp3 players, in addition to space for drinks bottles.
A recess was created in the side of the boot to accept either a first aid kit or warning triangle, while a Flex-Floor was devised to offer further under-floor storage. The boot floor itself can be fixed at different heights.
GM says the variety of materials in the new Astra is part of attempt to move the hatch upmarket, a popular theme among manufacturers.
The new Astra will launch at the Frankfurt Show this Autumn before going on sale in late 2009.