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by George Skentzos

Vauxhall has released the first official interior images of the upcoming new generation Astra which will debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The interior design echoes the Astra’s flowing exterior and engineered towards premium design and quality – representing the next step in Vauxhall’s design evolution, preceded by the Insignia from which it draws much of its inspiration.

The ‘wing and blade’ motif introduced through the Insignia has been carried over, expressed in details like the gooseneck shape of the door grab handles and the trim for the gearshift molding and steering wheel.

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Ambient lighting enhances interior features such as the gearbox surround, centre console and door handle recesses, depending on the model variant.

Special attention has gone into the design of the Astra’s seats, which Vauxhall claims to offer industry-leading levels of adjustment – their height can be raised by up to 65mm, while their fore and aft range extends to 280mm

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To determine the most efficient way to make use of the Astra’s interior, the research department compiled a list of the most common items stored in cars: pens, coins, a flashlight, a road atlas, a parking disc, sunglasses, a wallet, paper tissues, a mobile phone, CDs, MP3 players, cups, magazines, newspapers, fruit, a first aid kit, a jacket, a 1.5/1.0/0.5-litre drinks bottle.

Max Kuncl, the team’s Performance Integration Manager likened the challenge to a puzzle: “It was important for the team not only to find places for the items to fit, but for the new Astra’s interior to still look great, and maintain high quality standards throughout the cabin.”

Rather than merely increasing storage space, the designers have created specialized solutions to cater for most items, with a hard-shelled sunglass case above the door opening, coin slots and pen holders moulded into the inside edge of the glove box lid along with two removable compartments.




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