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by George Skentzos

General Motors Europe has released the first official images of its new Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer which is scheduled to make its debut at the Paris motor in September.

While the Holden has long since removed the Astra from its local line-up, UK buyers have bought the new generation model in droves, helping the Astra to become the Britain’s best-selling retail range in the first five months of this year.

The Sports Tourer becomes the second model to join the new Astra range alongside the current Astra hatch and will be assembled at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire.

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer maintains the hatch’s wheelbase while increasing the load length by 28mm, improving its load volume by 30 litres – up to 500 litres with the rear seats in place.

A new FlexFold feature allows each side of the rear seatback to be lowered at the press of the button forming a completely flat floor and boosting the maximum load capacity to 1550 litres.

Compared with the current Vauxhall Astra estate, the Astra Sports Tourer boasts an additional 25 litres of storage space in the cabin as well.

The design of the new Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer borrows from the latest Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, with a tapered profile, alling roofline and prominent ‘blades’ set into the sides of the car.

From launch, UK buyers will have a choice of six different engine variants with an an ultra-low emissions, Start/Stop-equipped ecoFLEX model available soon afterwards.

The three petrol offerings comprise both 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre ECOTEC units with a more powerful turbocharged 1.4-litre for higher spec models boasting 103kW and a fuel consumption figure of 5.16 l/100km.

A 1.7-litre diesel variant is also available in both 81kW or 92kW guise, along with a range-topping 2.0-litre CDTi engine which develops 118kW with a fuel consumption figure of 4.25 l/100km.

An ecoFLEX version based on the 1.3-litre CDTi engine will be available soon after launch featuring Start/Stop technology, a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and variable geometry turbocharger.




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