Vauxhall’s new Astra estate, the Sports Tourer, has been spied in Sweden ahead of its launch later this year.
The new car will be the second Astra model in the range, preceding the three-door (to be called Sport Hatch) and the VXR, both of which are due next year.
Vauxhall design boss Mark Adams described the Astra hatchback as being “more dynamic and emotional than the Golf”. He also said “it's more youthful and fashionable, too”.
Engine options for the estate will mirror the five-door’s, so expect three petrols (from a 1.4 to the 177bhp 1.6) and four diesels. An Ecoflex model will also be added to the range. For the five-door hatch, there was an average drop in CO2 emissions across the range of 13.3 per cent over the outgoing model.
Vauxhall’s engineers have taken a novel approach to the traditional torsion beam rear end in the Astra by using a Watt’s linkage, which helps to increase the overall stiffness of the suspension and improves the handling.
That means the big mounting bushes that connect the beam to the car are softer and more compliant than usual. This has the added effect of cutting noise and increasing comfort.
To improve the handling and boost interior space, the Astra’s front and rear tracks have been increased by 56mm and 70mm respectively over the old model, while its wheelbase has been increased by 71mm. the precise dimensions of the ST have yet to be confirmed, however.
The Sports Tourer will go on sale in the UK this summer. Prices should closely match those of the previous model, so expect the range to start at around £14,500.