CAR’s spies have caught the new three-door Vauxhall Astra out on test 18 months ahead of its debut. Although the Astra Sport Hatch replacement will be unveiled at the 2010 Paris motor show this autumn, we understand it won’t appear in Vauxhall showrooms until later in 2011.
Why the long delay?
GM’s bout in bankruptcy protection put certain projects on the backburner, and it seems that the three-door Astra was one of the casualties.
It will be shown in Paris at the same time as the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer estate, bringing the total body count of the new Astra range to three. The first customer cars are scheduled to arrive in late summer 2011.
What’s new on the three-door Astra (2011)?
Our new scoop photos show a car with an identifiably Astra-esque DNA, albeit in sportier, lower-slung trim. The roofline is noticeably arched and insiders talk of a similar aesthetic to today’s Astra Sport Hatch.
The car will be marketed in a similar vein; rather than being positioned as a three-door Astra, it will be sold as a separate coupé bodystyle. As such, it is likely to be given a separate name, too.
A standalone Vauxhall coupé? Calibra, anyone?
Aha! That’s exactly what we asked, and the GM types scoffed. Apparently not. They hint that a jumble of letters could signify the new three-door Astra coupé-type-thing. Not VXR – that’ll be reserved for the high-performance derivative in the pipeline, but we wouldn’t rule out GTC as a possibility.