Designer says Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch will stand out from the crowd

The Astra Sport Hatch, which will spawn a fire-breathing VXR model, will be almost identical to this concept sketch, the car’s chief designer has revealed.

As with the last three-door Vauxhall Astra, the new Astra Sport Hatch will be far more rakish, with a lower roofline, when it arrives in 2011.

New Astra 'better than Insignia'

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The company is keen to differentiate the Sport Hatch from the five-door and will give it a far more outlandish shape.

Malcolm Ward, head designer, said: “It will be a very dramatic execution and very, very close to the sketch. Think about the current three-door then think about where the new car will go.”

The new Astra five-door has spent 600 hours in the wind tunnel to ensure it is slipperier than before.

Vauxhall is taking the economy gains that can be had from better aerodynamics very seriously and utilised a number of clever design touches to improve efficiency.

A spokesman said it would be “significantly more aerodynamic” than the previous model.

The front bumper has been angled to direct air past the wheel and on to the side of the car. There are also sculpted areas around the rear lights to reduce the pool of air that gathers behind hatchbacks, cutting drag.

See all the latest Vauxhall Astra news and video

Our Verdict

The Astra is now in its sixth incarnation, but it can trace its linage back to 1963's Viva

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best-looking hatchbacks, but average dynamics and performance hamper its overall appeal

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