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by Tim Beissmann

The first official details and images of the Opel Astra sedan have been revealed ahead of the compact four-door’s unveiling at the 2012 Moscow auto salon in August.

The sedan becomes the fourth body style in the Astra line-up, following the five-door hatch, three-door GTC coupe and the Sports Tourer wagon. Opel has been spied testing a fifth body style, the Astra Cabriolet, which is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2013.

Opel Australia’s Melanie Kerin confirmed the four-door Astra sedan will not join the hatch, coupe and wagon in its launch range when the brand opens its showrooms in September. Kerin said the local brand had not completely closed the door on introducing it at a later date, but expects the mid-sized Insignia sedan to take care of initial Australian demand for the body style.

At 4658mm long, 1814mm wide, 1476mm tall and with a 2685mm wheelbase, the Astra sedan is – for comparison’s sake – 78mm longer, 59mm wider and 6mm taller than the Mazda3 sedan.

Its 460-litre boot is 30 litres larger than that of the Mazda3 and 90 litres more accommodating than the Astra hatchback. With the 60:40 split-fold rear seats pushed forwards, the sedan’s total load space increases to 1010 litres.

Depending on the market, the Opel Astra sedan will be available with the choice of seven engines: four petrol units ranging from 74kW to 132kW and three diesels between 70kW and 96kW. Two ultra-efficient ‘ecoFLEX’ diesel variants will be available, boasting combined cycle fuel consumption of just 3.7 litres per 100km.

Opel’s all-new turbocharged 1.6-litre SIDI petrol engine will also be added to the range from early next year.

Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke says the Astra sedan will play a key role in the brand’s global growth strategy.

“It is a stylish, more affordable alternative to many four-door sedans in the mid-size segment, therefore we see significant conquest potential in Western Europe,” Stracke said.

“It will also play a leading role in substantially increasing our market share in key growth markets such as Russia and Turkey, where there is strong customer demand for compact cars with a separate luggage compartment.”

Russia is the third largest market for the Astra in Europe, and is expected to become Europe’s largest market overall by 2014. More than 60 per cent of all sedans sold in Europe are purchased in Russia, making the Astra sedan a crucial model for the brand going forward.




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