Astra to the rescue. This could be the outcome of Opel’s latest strategic model release, which takes its legacy sedan and hatchback nameplate into the electric mobility future.
The new Astra, now in its sixth-generation, will offer both a five-door hatchback and station wagon configuration. Designers have optimised the benefits of an all-electric powertrain, giving the car attractively harmonised proportions. There’s also a credible lack of pastiche detailing.
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Range not speed
But what about those core battery specification and electric driving statistics? Powering the new Astra electric range is a 115kW motor with 270Nm of torque. Those outputs are reasonably mild, and Opel’s new electric car has a top speed of only 170km/h.
Opel’s engineers have focussed on efficiency and battery range, with the Astra electric powertrain. The claim is for a real-world range of 416km. Recharging the 54kWh battery pack from a 100kW fast-charger, will net 80% energy density in only half an hour.
For those potential Astra electric owners who wish to use the convenience and privacy of home charging, there is a three-phase 11kW onboard charger, which plays nice with your home power infrastructure.
Very clever inside
The Astra electric’s interior architecture offers a very generous 515-litres of luggage space, which expands to a massive 1550-litres in the Sports Tourer version, with those rear seats folded.
Digitisation and infotainment? Two 10-inch screens serve as instrumentation and infotainment interfacing, while Opel has integrated the latest voice recognition software and sensors. The promise is that you’ll suffer a lot less annoyance and misinterpretation when using voice commands with the Astra electric range.
Although the design is deeply futuristic, Opel’s ergonomists recognise the value of traditional buttons, taps and dials for specific functions. For climate control and ventilation adjustability, drivers and passengers will still use physical dials and selector buttons.
The local plans for Astra electric remain unclear, with European orders opening in Q2 2023. With a fetching design, lots of interior room and a generous driving range, Astra electric could be just what Opel needs to move from peripheral to core brand status in South Africa, again.