Thanks to a leak from GM Europe, this is the next-generation 2016 Opel Astra before its planned debut later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Only the five-door hatchback model is shown in the leaked batch, though Opel does plan to offer other variants, including a sedan, wagon and a hotted-up version.
Now, let’s see if engineers at Buick here in North America can figure out how to replace the Opel lightning logo with their own tri-shield.
Just a few days after new GM CEO Mary Barra visited Opel’s headquarters in Ruesselsheim and said the company’s plant there will be assigned a new vehicle to build, General Motors’ Opel unit has come to an agreement with the company’s labor unions to extend until the end of 2018 a no-layoff guarantee at three German plants. According to Reuters, the Ruesselsheim factory, plants at Kaiserslautern and Eisenach will remain open. Opel also announced that the Eisenach assembly plant will build the next generation Opel Adam and Corsa models. Approximately 7,150 employees work at the three factories. (Read More…)
My daughter has been driving the Saturn Astra recommended by Steve for a few months now and we can all say that it is a nice car — screwed together well, efficient and kinda sporty. I consider it to be a win. Except for a minor key issue. (Read More…)
Back in April, Sajeev and Steve found some time to reply to my letter where I posed the impossible question. As gearheads, we all want something fun, fast, efficient, and cheap (well, most of us want cheap). Much like a traction circle, all these needs are in competition and in order to make good on one you need to sacrifice another. The ultimate gearhead car, unfortunately, does not exist and it never will.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t good, affordable vehicles out there which are fun to drive while ticking most of the boxes. And, this time, I actually followed the advice of someone else and couldn’t be happier.
After a lot of talk, GM is beginning to create facts at Opel: The production of Opel’s volume model, the Astra, will be moved from Rüsselsheim to Opel/Vauxhall sites in Ellesmere Port and Gliwice, Poland. This according to reports in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which receives usually reliable information from Opel’s unions. (Read More…)
Panoramic windscreens are something of a building trend in Europe’s premium-ish small car segments, combining the benefits of a sunroof with improved visibility. GM debuted the concept as a rarely-chosen option on the previous-generation Astra three-door, and it’s coming back with the forthcoming Astra GTC. Which raises an interesting question: since I’m convinced the GTC will come to the US as a Buick coupe, will this funky look come across the pond as well? Bob Lutz emphasized his preference for “glowering” low rooflines, telling TTAC that an early version of the forthcoming Cadillac ATS looked like “a kid with too large of a forehead” before he told designers to bring down the browline. Will an exception be made for this unique (to the US Market) feature on what should be one of GM’s most purely European cars? Or will Lutz’s aesthetic tastes doom GM buyers to observing traffic lights out of their side windows? Is this an option that other automakers should consider making available?
it’s fairly unlikely that [GM] would bring a 290 HP, limited-slip, six-speed hot hatch to the Buick brand any time soon. Or is it? The line for “Mr Euro”-style self-delusion forms here…
I’m still skeptical about a 290 HP version, but a 200-ish HP GTI-fighter is making more sense… especially after seeing mules of the Astra GTC at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds earlier this week. And GMauthority reports that
according to sources, the Astra has been green-lit to become a Buick. The name is unknown, but it’s possible that it will wear the Verano nameplate, with some sort of a specifying moniker.
The Verano sedan is tipped as a “comfort-first” model, but a sporty, premium hatch-coupe variant could help Buick drive its buyer age even lower. Especially now that Acura has let its Integra/RSX legacy wither on the vine. But then, it sounds like the Buick boys don’t need encouraging on this front…
To be perfectly honest, we don’t know if the forthcoming Opel Astra CC (shown here in mule form) will be brought to the US and sold as a Buick, but it’s certainly been rumored. C&D says that, in addition to an Astra/Verano coupe, which it says will “definitely” be coming to the US,
Buick’s lineup could be graced with another Opel model that is currently under development. Replacing the folding-hardtop Astra Twin Top in Europe will be a new model that won’t be badged Astra, but will be based on the car’s Delta platform and remain close to the current model’s dimensions. The new convertible will keep its pronounced trunk and shed its clumsy hardtop in favor of a softtop, which should increase luggage space and make for a far cleaner look. Opel believes the softtop will create a more premium image.
The last Buick convertible? The 1990-91 Reatta convertible. But Buick’s probably hoping that nobody remembers those bad old days…
The new Buick Regal is aimed straight at Acura’s TSX… could this forthcoming Opel Astra Coupe be Buick’s answer to the late Acura Integra/RSX? GM has thus far refused to confirm any Astra-based Buicks besides a sedan that’s already being caught without camo in China. But if Buick is going compact, where should it draw the line? After all, the brand is anxious to attract young buyers… but does a compact coupe take Buick’s youth movement too far? And what do you call a Buick coupe that could fit under the hood of a classic Riviera? Rebadged Opels and younger buyers are a solid basis for a Buick revival, but cars like this one prove that Buick needs more than just a direction to head in: it needs a vision.
No wonder GM decided it couldn’t give up Opel… it would have lost Buick as well! Expect this Buick Excelle (a rebadged Opel Astra in the style of the new Regal) to arrive in the US under a different name (and probably in sedan form only) around the 2012 model year.