Fully electric Vauxhall Astra to join next-generation of family hatchback
The pure EV will join petrol, diesel and hybrid versions of the eight generation family hatchback, which is due to be launched in 2022.
Electric drivetrain details are yet to be confirmed but the new Astra will be built on the same EMP2 platform as the Peugeot 308, which is also due to get an “e” version, and the parent group Sellantis has a few EV options to choose from.
The Astra-e, as it will be known, is part of Vauxhall plans to have a fully electrified line-up by 2024 and to phase out combustion engines entirely from its range by 2028. It joins electric versions of the Corsa and Mokka as well as battery-powered versions of Vauxhall’s van range.
Also part of that plan are two plug-in hybrid variants alongside regular petrol and diesel engines.
Both plug-in hybrids will use a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and single electric motor, both powering the front axle. The entry-level version will offer 178bhp and 266lb ft while the higher spec one keeps the same torque figure but turns up the wick on the engine for a total of 217bhp. Both models will offer economy of up to 256mpg and emission fo 31g/km plus electric only range of up to 35 miles.
Petrol-only power comes in the form of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo in 109bhp or 128bhp tunes, with a six-speed manual as standard and an eight-speed auto as an option on the higher-powered version.
And despite the market abandoning diesel, the Astra will also go on sale with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel with 128bhp, promising up to 64mpg.
Like other recent new models in the range, the Astra gets bolder styling, dominated by the new Vizor grille and slimline headlights which debuted on the Mokka. Its designers say the Astra has been “detoxed of superfluous elements”, in other words there aren’t lots of unnecessary styling lines along the bodywork and the styling is shaper and cleaner. Like other recent models, the Astra name is spelled out across the centre of the tailgate below slimline tail lights.
Inside, the Astra echoes the recently-launched Mokka with a simple uncluttered layout dominated by two “Pure Panel” digital screens. The twin 10-inch screens flow into each other with a central touchscreen for media, navigation and connectivity controls and a configurable digital instrument display in front of the driver. Buttons and dials have been pared back but key functions such as ventilation retain physical controls.
Among the tech highlights confirmed for the new Astra are semi-autonomous lane changing, four body cameras and five radar sensors to aid with adaptive cruise control and blind spot assistance, a head-up display, the latest generation of adaptive LED headlights and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Orders for the five-door Astra hatch will open this autumn with deliveries beginning early next year. An estate version will also go on sale next year ahead of the Astra-e’s arrival in 2023.