Following the introduction of the new 2010 Opel (Vauxhall) Astra, here comes the roadster variant with much much more appeal than the previous generation. New Astra roadster looks pretty good and has become more sporty. It still has a folding metal roof, but comes with only two seats rather than four.
Loosing the back seats is actually a great event because they were absolutely rubbish. Not only the Astra, but in every four seater cabriolet you have to compromise on front passengers space to have those tiny back seats which are practically useless, even if you have the slimmest children in the world they still won’t fit there! So Opel chucked them out and made the Astra convertible a two seater.
The shape of Astra roadster is not a perfect design, but given the price and the market in which it has to compete, you have to say it’s brilliant. It follows the sportscar’s recipe. It sits low and wide, has flared wheelarches to house some big wheels and it has a low and very steep windscreen. So it should feel fantastic to drive. Astra CC can easily challenge high-end cars in this segment like Mercedes SLK, Audi TT and even BMW Z4. It’s not as posh as the others, but it certainly is pretty good value for money. The only criticism for its design should be the back end which is a bit dull!
This being a convertible car, some serious structural works have been done to make it stiffer and firmer. This is very important because no matter how good a car looks, wobbly handling can easily kill all the joy. But that shouldn’t be a problem with the Astra, reinforced pillars and subframes should keep it in check. According to the source new Astra CC won’t get the OPC (VXR) treatment, but the top of the range model will get the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine which turns out 270hp. Other choices would be the 1.4 liter Turbo with 150hp and the 2.0 liter diesel developing 170 hp.
As for the interior, Astra convertible will be identical to the its hatchback brother. That interior design is one of the best we’ve seen in recent years and the quality of materials are very fine as well.
New Astra CC seems to have all the bases covered, it’ll be one of the hottest car to be launched but it’s not likely to come any time soon. The Astra hatchback still awaits market launch and there are other variants of the car in the pipeline, the three-door version and the Sport Tourer which are much more strategic than the CC. So they have greater priority. Of course we have to wait and see, now under Magna watch, things may go differently for Opel, but 2011 seems to be nearest time for it.