THE next-generation Holden Astra has been caught in testing ahead of landing in Australia in late 2016.
The ice-clad five-door twins spotted in Scandinavia show GM’s Mazda 3, VW Golf and Ford Focus rival that’s been confirmed by Holden to join the local line-up, although it remains tight-lipped on precisely when the all-new version will land in local showrooms.
While these images show the five-door hatch, the new Astra will also be built as a three-door, wagon and – for the first time – a sedan. These images show the look of the new Astra will reflect the lower, pedestrian-impact friendly nose worn by both the Chinese-market Cruze and the Chevrolet Volt show car, shown at the Detroit motor show, with longer lines giving the car broader shoulders. It will appear much more substantial than the slab-sided Cruze it will essentially replace here.
The C-segment Astra will built on the same D2XX platform as the Volt – which is yet to be confirmed for Australia – and also used by the new Cruze that was launched in China in 2014. The new platform means that the new Astra will be considerably lighter than the current model, with the Chinese-market Cruze up to 125kg lighter than its predecessor.
Holden has confirmed that its European-sourced models will be treated to unique suspension tunes to cope with our rough roads. This is in line with its Lang Lang proving ground remaining open once its factories have been closed in 2017, and unlike the Opel-badged versions sold here in 2012 that were sold with their standard European suspension settings. German engineers have never seen anything as diabolical as Sydney’s Parramatta Road…
In terms of engines, Holden is yet to confirm which powerplants the Australian line-up will include. A new three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre that’s currently on sale in the Ford Fiesta-sized Corsa will be fitted to the Euro spec Astra, while there’s also the choice of a turbocharged 1.4-litre mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Two versions of the 1.6-litre diesel and a more potent 2.0-litre diesel will also be available in Europe. A hybrid version has been dismissed, with the Volt serving the same segment.
The performance models of the existing Astra line-up will arrive in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2015, with the Ford Focus ST and VW Golf GTI rivalling flagship Astra VXR the main drawcard, and hopefully given a warmer reception than its brief stint here badged as an Opel in 2012.
The next generation Astra is expected to be shown in 2016, arriving in Australia in the second half of the year.