We briefly saw the last generation Opel Astra two- and four-door hatchbacks in the U.S. as the Saturn Astra, and we’ll likely see the Astra sedan/Buick Excelle make its way over in Buick form. Unfortunately, we’ll never see the new 2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer that was revealed today.
Opel unveiled its New Astra four-door hatchback around a year ago, and the Sports Tourer is the second body style to join the lineup that will eventually include no fewer than three variants. Unlike the four-door hatchback‘s shapely hatch, which places style over substance, the Sports Tourer is more of a pure wagon. The roofline flows straight over the rear seats, giving rear passengers more headroom and continues out towards the hatch, increasing luggage space. Like the hatchback New Astra, it still sports a stylish European wrapper.
As the Sports Tourer was designed to hold as much cargo as efficiently as possible, the engineers went to great lengths to ensure optimum storage space. At the back, the cargo compartment has been carefully sculpted to eliminate any odd, hard-to-use corners. Additionally, a new “FlexFold” rear seat system has been added to easily fold the rear seats down. The system works using a spring-loaded mechanism that fires with the press of a button, automatically folding the seats down.
The biggest difference between the four-door hatchback and Sports Tourer is body style, as most of the pieces carry over from the hatch. The suspension from the hatchback carries over mostly unchanged to ensure good ride quality and handling, but the rear suspension has been calibrated to handle higher loads. An optional FlexRide system functions like Audi Drive Select and allows the driver to select a driving mode from among Touring, Standard, and Sport. Sport mode stiffens the suspension for better response and also enhances throttle and steering responsiveness. The Astra Sports Tourer will also feature Opel’s electronic trailer stability assist, for those owners who pull trailers.
The powertrain lineup mimics the four-door hatchback’s, with a total of eight gasoline and diesel engines. Power ranges from 95 horsepower in the frugal Ecoflex Astra with a 1.3-liter turbo-diesel to 180 horsepower in the 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. A six-speed manual with an upshift indicator is standard with every engine, and a six-speed automatic is available with most. We also expect start-stop technology to become standard across the Astra range.
The Astra Sports Tourer will make its public debut this October at the Paris Motor Show, with an on-sale date in November.