Sales of Opel/Vauxhall's Astra compact car range are expected to rise steeply with the addition of the 2011 Astra Sports Tourer that will be launched in Europe this November, only a month after it debuted at the Paris Auto Show. The wagon, which has been dubbed by the General Motors Co. division as the Astra Sports Tourer, is the second model in the new Astra range.
The other vehicle in this lineup is a five-door hatchback that was launched last December. Several days ago, Opel disclosed that it has gotten over 160,000 orders for the latest-generation Astra hatchback since it was launched.
Opel data indicate that the station wagon version historically accounts for about 25% of all Astra sales in Europe -- much higher than the compact segment average of 17%. The new Astra wagon will have the same sleek, sculpted design as its larger counterpart, the Insignia Sports Tourer.
The Astra wagon boasts of having technical innovations that include adaptive forward lighting and a front-view camera system that can distinguish traffic signs and can also notify drivers when they unintentionally leave their lane.
The Astra Sports Tourer has the same footprint as its five-door hatchback sibling, with a 2685mm-long wheelbase and wide front and rear tracks of 1544mm and 1558mm respectively.
Opel is also proud of its new FlexFold rear seat system, which allows remote folding of the seatbacks at the press of a button. This feature, which is a first for compact wagons, means that load volume can be adjusted between 500 and 1550 liters.
When the seatbacks are down, the cargo load length is raised to 1835mm, exactly 28mm more than in the current-generation Astra wagon.
Aside from the eight gasoline and diesel engines available, buyers can also choose a 120-hp, 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline unit, which is partnered with a six-speed manual transmission.