Vauxhall Downsizes Spicy Astra's Engine

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
vauxhall downsizes spicy astras engine

AutoExpress has released details of the next generation Vauxhall Astra (that's our Saturn Astra) VXR. The hot version will go on sale in– you guessed it– 2010. To comply with stricter fuel economy regs, GM's European ops will downsize the engine in the GTI-competitor, from its present 237 hp 2.0-liter to a 1.8-liter turbo, with something around 240 horsepower. Vauxhall claimsthe new powerplant will be more economical and efficient– both of which are probably true. But I'd imagine it's also because the torque steer in the 2.0-liter turbo model is supposedly driver-wrist-destroying. Is it coming to America? Considering how meager the American Astra sales have been– around 1000 a month (Cadillac still shifts 1500 Escalades)– the idea that we'll be getting the next gen Astra is sounding increasingly preposterous. It's too bad, because the car itself (both the regular Astra and hot versions) are credible Golf competitors. You know; in Europe.

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4 of 17 comments
  • Blankfocus Blankfocus on Jun 06, 2008

    i like the astra, just not as a saturn. i'll pay a little bit more and stick with my GTI. i'd like to have the company that makes my car still in business five years from now.

  • Serpico Serpico on Jun 06, 2008

    Pretty stylish car. If we had more compact cars looking like this, north americans would drive them. Maybe hatchbacks & wagons will come back in style now that SUV's are in a down swing. Unless we get some great hybrid engines to save them, then most of us will continue to buy them.

  • Omnivore Omnivore on Jun 06, 2008

    KatiePuckrik: The cost savings would get cancelled out by increased shipping costs. Not quite true. Ocean shipping costs are vanishingly tiny as a percentage of overall cost, even for something as large as a car. That's why cheap cars can be profitably imported.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jun 06, 2008

    I'll say this much - that little Astra hauled some serious ass at the autocross