Opel’s Quantum Leap in the Compact Class: The New Astra

Sep 22, 2015

  • Start of new era: Engineered from white sheet of paper according to Opel’s new mantra
  • Pure efficiency: Up to 200 kilograms lighter and with ultra-modern engines
  • Rewarding: Class-leading total cost of ownership, attractive pricing
  • Clever athletic design: More compact dimensions, more comfortable on the inside
  • Outstanding connectivity: Opel OnStar and next-generation IntelliLink
  • First in class: Smart IntelliLux LED® matrix light
  • Clever helpers: Driver assistance technologies at a premium level
  • Wellness 2.0: Ergonomic AGR seats with massage function and ventilation
Opel News - Opel’s Quantum Leap in the Compact Class: The New Astra

Rüsselsheim/Bratislava. Opel and compact class cars – this exceptional success story starts with the Kadett in 1936 and will be continued with the new Astra, the eleventh generation of an Opel compact class car. So far, 24 million Kadett and Astra compact class models have left the plants. The world premiere of the Opel star at the Frankfurt Motor Show (September 17 to 27) marked the start of a new chapter in the history of the bestseller. Simultaneously, it marked the start of a new chapter in the company’s history: the next generation of the Astra is the first model developed on the basis of the new priorities and goals set by Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and the DRIVE! 2022 strategy. The new Astra is based on a completely new lightweight vehicle architecture, is powered exclusively by latest-generation engines and enables ultra-modern connectivity via smartphone integration and the groundbreaking personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar. The new Astra will also continue Opel’s tradition of introducing features previously only known from higher segments into the compact segment.

The newcomer also epitomizes Opel’s design philosophy with its sculptured design and flowing lines. Furthermore, it looks more dynamic and leaner than ever before. In brief: the new Astra combines efficiency with elegance and will redefine the compact class with its leading innovations – be it as a five-door or Sports Tourer variant that also celebrated its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will be introduced to the market in the coming months.

“The new Astra will continue Opel’s tradition of making innovations from higher segments affordable for a wider audience. At the same time, it will mark the start of a new era at Opel and is a real quantum leap. Our engineers literally developed it from a white sheet of paper, always with three main objectives in mind: efficiency, connectivity and dynamism,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “The new Astra is up to 200 kilograms lighter than its predecessor and its athletic design shows this immediately. The dimensions have shrunk but spaciousness and comfort have been increased considerably. Under the hood, you will only find engines of the latest generation. Numerous technologies and assistance systems from higher segments improve comfort and safety for Astra passengers, with our personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar, state-of-the-art smartphone integration and the groundbreaking adaptive IntelliLux LED® matrix light leading the way.”

Only with efficient, responsive and quiet powertrains from the new generation

Opel News - Opel 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo

A member of the completely new engine portfolio can be found under the hood of each new Astra with outputs ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 147 kW/200 hp. The diesel and gasoline engines with a displacement range from 1.0 to 1.6 liters all have three things in common: they combine highest efficiency with excellent responsiveness and running smoothness – the latest-generation Opel turbo diesels are known as whisper diesels for good reason.


The new Astra with the 74 kW/100 hp 1.4-liter all-aluminum gasoline engine under the hood will be available for a very affordable entry-level price of 17,260 euros (all following prices RRP including VAT in Germany). Therefore, it does not cost a single cent more than its predecessor did. The 77 kW/105 hp three-cylinder 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo is available for only 700 euros more. When combined with Easytronic 3.0, the automated manual gearbox, the new Astra only emits 96 grams of CO2 per kilometer and consumes a mere 4.2 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle, making it one of the leading gasoline cars in the compact class in fuel economy and eco-friendliness. Elsewhere, the completely new 1.4 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo will make its debut in the new Astra. The four-cylinder unit is available with outputs of 92 kW/125 hp or 110 kW/150 hp and delivers maximum torque of up to 245 Nm. It is from the same family as the smaller but nonetheless powerful three-cylinder engine and simultaneously brings less weight into the car thanks to its all-aluminum construction. Depending on the output, fuel consumption can be reduced to 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers (114 g/km CO2).

Opel News - Astra Lightweight Illustration

The 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo with 147 kW/200 hp and an impressive 300 Nm of torque (with overboost) will be the most powerful gasoline engine available for the Astra. Mid-range acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear is completed in just 7.5 seconds, and maximum speed is 235 km/h (preliminary data).


Diesel fans will be able to order a new Astra from prices starting at 20,260 euros – 650 euros less than before. The 1.6 CDTI is available in three outputs ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 100 kW/136 hp and offers maximum torque of 320 Nm. In combination with the standard six-speed manual transmission, CO2 emissions are always below 100 grams per kilometer. The current efficiency champion of the new Astra family is the 81 kW/110 hp model, with fuel consumption a mere 3.4 liters and CO2 emissions of 90 grams.


Three transmission types are available for the new Astra: five and six-speed manual transmissions, the automated manual transmission Easytronic 3.0 and an especially low-friction six-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed automatic transmission is available in combination with the 110 kW/150 hp 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine and with the 100 kW/136 hp 1.6 CDTI.

Money-saver: Premium quality, low total cost of ownership

Opel News - Opel’s Quantum Leap in the Compact Class: The New Astra

However, the outstanding efficiency proposed by the new Astra is not only linked to the innovative powertrain technologies. Thanks to ultra-modern production methods and high-quality materials, it reaches an excellent level of quality – attributes that also have a positive impact on the total cost of ownership, where the new Astra also sets the standard in its class. The predicted residual value is more than 5 percent higher than for the current generation. The predicted residual value of the Astra 1.6 CDTI Business is up 6.4% over a three-year period and 90,000 kilometers, saving owners up to 2,264 euros. This sees the new Astra climb to the top of the total cost of ownership table – no competitor is more cost-conscientious and economical.


Generous service intervals of 30,000 kilometers, the longest in the segment, play just as important a role as favorable insurance premiums and reduced fuel consumption. When comparing catalog prices with compact cars from the so-called premium brands, Astra customers will find advantages of up to 5,000 euros for comparable trim levels. Even a new, fully equipped Astra comes in around 1,500 euros below some entry-level versions of the competitors – that is efficiency à la Astra.

Lighter, more frugal and more agile: The new vehicle architecture

The role model for the eleventh generation of the Opel compact class car was the visionary Monza Concept presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. It gave a preview of what to expect from future Opel models and reflects efficiency with every component and every design feature. The new Astra follows this vision rigorously. Depending on the model and trim level, it will be up to 200 kilograms – at the very least 120 kilograms – lighter than its predecessor. The completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in the weight reduction. Every component was checked for compact design and lightweight materials. The bodyshell weight alone was reduced by 77 kilograms (more than 20 percent). Additional, chassis-related measures resulted in another 50 kilograms of weight reduction.


Ultra-high-strength low-weight steels, compact subframes as well as weight reductions to the front and rear axle all contribute to this result. Furthermore, the engineers decided against full underbody paneling and instead looked to aerodynamically optimized chassis and powertrain elements. Further examples for size and weight optimization are the shorter front and rear overhangs and the exhaust system weighing up to 25 percent less.


The result of this fitness program: agility and driving comfort are improved. Briefly, the new Astra is more fun to drive than ever before.

Intelligent Astra design: More compact yet more spacious

Opel News - Opel Astra Design

The design of the new Astra clearly depicts the efficiency at the heart of the car. The evolution of the Opel design philosophy ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ ensures that the new Astra conveys a lighter, more athletic appearance. The visionary Monza Concept was once again the inspiration. The pure efficiency is expressed in the lean and athletic interpretation of Opel’s typical sculptural shapes. The spaciousness inside the Monza Concept is also a feature of the new Astra, with occupants being able to enjoy additional leg and headroom despite the car being smaller than its predecessor. With a total length of 4.37 meters, it is almost 50 millimeters shorter than its predecessor while the width has been reduced by five millimeters to 1.81 meters (without door mirrors). The height has also been lowered by 25 millimeters to around 1.48 meters. The wheelbase of the Astra may have been reduced by two centimeters but the amount of space inside increased. In combination with newly crafted seats, passengers in the rear can look forward to an additional 35 millimeters legroom, improving travel comfort and sense of space. And the driver can enjoy 22 millimeters of additional headroom.


The leaner dimensions obviously have an impact on aerodynamics and efficiency, with the new Astra boasting an average drag coefficient below 0.30. The most streamlined model has a drag coefficient of 0.285, which is 0.040 points below the most streamlined predecessor model and an outstanding value for a hatchback.


“We wanted the design of the new Astra to continue the evolution of our design philosophy: ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’. It has strong links to our Monza Concept, with an athletic, lean, sculptural body that communicates dynamism and lightness. It’s smaller on the outside but larger on the inside, highlighting our focus on great efficiency. All of the design elements, like the way the grille flows seamlessly into the lamps, the dynamic divided C-pillar and stretched, taut surfaces down the bodyside, support the visual effect in making the new Astra look lower, longer and wider, while still offering excellent interior space. Overall, the design reflects new Astra key messages: leaner, lighter, more efficient, dynamic,” said Opel’s Vice President of Design, Mark Adams.

At the front, the Opel design team wanted to make the new Astra look as wide as possible to give it a dynamic and lower stance. The Opel Blitz integrated in the center of the chrome bar on the grill, and the characteristic ‘blade’ sweeping towards the rear ensure that the new Astra is immediately recognizable as a member of the Opel family. The front headlamps, which are very sleek and look dynamic and sporty, flow seamlessly into the grill aperture forming a distinctive graphic. The most significant design cue is the ‘breakthrough’ C-pillar, which creates the impression of a floating roof while simultaneously stretching the car visually, making it look lower and giving it an innovative design characteristic. The dramatically sculpted rear deck lid graphically links the rear tail lamps to create a leaner, wider and lower impression, again underlining the Astra’s core efficiency.


The interior of the new Astra again reinforces the Opel design philosophy of ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’. Gracefully sculpted shapes are combined with premium materials and functional clarity: switches and controls are all reduced to an absolute minimum, supporting the efficiency and ease of use that is at the core of the Astra. The centerpiece of the new Astra’s interior is the award-winning IntelliLink system. The location of the system was carefully selected to ensure both an ideal view to the display as well as easy reach and use.


“The interior is a blend of sculptural dynamic shapes, premium materials, and an absolute focus on quality of execution and craftsmanship. We seamlessly integrated full width decors, bordered by a signature galvanized blade, to visually emphasize the width, spaciousness, and efficiency of the interior,” added Mark Adams.

Best connectivity and modern infotainment: Opel OnStar and IntelliLink

Opel News - IntelliLink & Apple CarPlay

All new models adhere to the principle: Opel democratizes technologies and innovations from higher segments, Opel makes innovations affordable. For example in connectivity. The next generation Astra is the first new Opel model that will be available with Opel OnStar from its launch. The personal connectivity and service assistant is a 365-day-a-year guardian angel available at the push of a button. If an airbag deploys, Opel OnStar will be alerted automatically and contact the emergency services. Furthermore, OnStar will turn the new Astra into a 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. Up to seven devices, from smartphones to tablets, can be connected simultaneously.


In addition, two versions of the new generation of the IntelliLink infotainment system will celebrate their debut in the Astra. For the first time, IntelliLink will bring the world of smartphones to the car via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most.

Compact class first: IntelliLux LED® matrix light

Opel News - Opel IntelliLux LED® Matrix Light

The intelligent IntelliLux LED® matrix light in the new Astra is another absolute novelty and safety highlight. The groundbreaking full-LED matrix light of the next generation enables driving with glare-free high beams outside urban areas and will be available in the compact class for the first time in the Astra. Consisting of 16 LED segments – eight on each side of the vehicle – the new LED matrix system automatically and constantly adapts the length and distribution of the light beam to every traffic situation. When the camera detects light sources from oncoming or preceding traffic, individual LEDs in the relevant zone are deactivated, simply ‘cutting out’ the area around the vehicles. The rest of the road and its surroundings remain brightly illuminated. With this degree of precision and adaptation, LED matrix light elevates lighting technology to the next level.


Apart from Opel OnStar and IntelliLux LED®, both unique in the compact segment, Astra owners can look forward to a string of further safety, driver assistance and comfort systems which may be common in upper segments but stand out in compact cars. The next-generation Opel Eye front camera that premieres in the new Astra enables significant improvements: the Traffic Sign Assist now combines camera-based images and information from the embedded navigation system to deliver even more accurate driving recommendations. The Lane Departure Warning is enriched with a Lane Keep Assist with automatic steering correction in case a driver unintentionally veers out of lane. Functions related to keeping a safe distance to vehicles ahead are enhanced as well. The Forward Collision Alert warning the driver of potential dangers now also features reflective LED in the windshield in addition to the acoustic signal and the pop-up icon. If the driver’s reaction to an alert is not sufficient, the system now boosts the braking (Integrated Brake Assist) or automatically brakes the vehicle (Autonomous Emergency Braking), thus helping avoid or lessening the severity of crashes at relatively low speeds (above 8 km/h and below 80 km/h - at speeds below 40 km/h, it can even perform full braking). A further warning system that enhances safety with LED icons and an acoustic signal, the Side Blind Spot Alert function uses ultra-sonic sensors to recognize obstacles hidden from the driver’s vision within a 3-meter radius on either side of and behind the car.

Opel News - Forward Collision Alert: If the gap shrinks below a safe distance, it warns the driver with a loud audible alarm, a visual warning in the instrument cluster and an LED projection on the windscreen.

The Cruise Control/Speed Limiter raises comfort while enabling the driver to make sure that the speed is always within the driver-set boundaries. And Advanced Park Assist makes it possible to park the car automatically at the push of a button, while the rear view camera is activated once reverse gear is selected.


The newly engineered and designed AGR (Campaign for Healthier Backs) tested and certified ergonomic seats are also outstanding. They continue Opel’s tradition in excellent, ergonomic seats and now come with additional comfort features. The new Opel Astra will offer 18-way adjustable seats for the driver. They have a massage function, ventilation and side bolster setting – a unique combination in the compact class. And the rear passengers can also look forward to more comfort than before: apart from providing additional legroom, the two heated outer back seats are available as an option.


The all-new Opel Astra is therefore not only lighter, more aerodynamic, more agile and more efficient than ever before, it is also safer, more comfortable and more modern. It is Opel’s road to the future.