The eighth generation of the Vauxhall Astra family car will for the first time include a battery-electric version.
The company’s family hatch used to be a regular in the new car sales top ten, but has fallen out in recent years. Petrol and diesel versions of the eighth-generation model go on sale in October, with first deliveries starting in Spring 2022, but buyers will have to wait until 2023 to buy the electric Astra-e.
Vauxhall is not yet releasing any powertrain details of the Astra-e, though the brand has already established a major electrified presence with the Corsa-e and several light commercial vehicles. Vauxhall’s UK factory at Ellesmere Port is set to be repurposed as an electric vehicle manufacturing centre from 2022.
Two plug-in hybrid versions of the Astra will also be available from launch, alongside two petrol and a single diesel engine. Power outputs range from 110 to 225hp and are matched to six-speed manual or eight-speed auto transmissions depending on model.
The top plug-in variant offers power of 225hp while there is also a 180hp version. Both claim official eco figures of more than 200mpg and CO2 emissions between 24 and 31g/km – as with all plug-in hybrids, these figures are somewhat meaningless to all but company-car tax payers, though the car will have an electric only range of up to 35 miles.
The new Astra is almost exactly the same length as its predecessor, but with a slightly longer wheelbase that Vauxhall promises will lead to more interior space. Boot space is also a very competitive 422 litres.
The interior is being highlighted as a major advance, the driver’s instrument panel dumping all of its analogue dials in favour of a fully digital ‘pure panel.’ The touchscreens extend across to the passenger’s side and, according to their designers, can be operated just like a smartphone.
Vauxhall plans to add the Sport Tourer estate versions to the new Astra range in late 2022.