Mainstream plug-in hybrid hatchback on its way

A Vauxhall Astra using GM's Volt technology could be on sale by 2014, Autocar has learnt.

GM is not planning to create a second generation Chevrolet Volt or Vauxhall Ampera, instead showcasing the technology, which it calls Voltec, before rolling it out to different models.

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“There won’t be a Volt or Ampera mark two, the powertrain will effectively become mainstream,” a GM source said.

The source estimated an Astra Voltec could even be available on the sixth-generation Astra in “five to six years”.

The next Astra is all-new, and shares nothing with the current model; the platform is new and the engine line-up has been lifted from the Insignia and Corsa range.

The first car to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show in September will be the five-door hatch. Next year this will be joined by an estate, followed by the distinctive three-door Sport Hatch model with its coupé-like styling, although we won’t see that car until 2011.

The VXR, which will be based on the three-door, also won’t arrive until 2011.

Ollie Stallwood

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