Opel is for the first time celebrating an automotive world premiere in Russia. At the Moscow International Auto Salon (August 29 - September 9), the unveiling of the all-new four-door Astra sedan is the undisputed highlight of Opel’s show.
Never before has the Opel stand, which is located in Hall 14 and covers an area of 1,750 square meters, been so vast. This is also the place where visitors can see a further two world premieres. For the first time, the Astra five-door and the Astra Sports Tourer are being unveiled with their updated and fresh design cues. Added to that is the world debut of the new mid-size gasoline engine generation.
More than a million visitors are expected at the Auto Salon. They will have the chance to see a further two premieres for the Russian market: the Astra OPC with its 206 kW/280 hp engine and the Mokka with which Opel is entering the SUV-B segment as the first German manufacturer.
Astra sedan as key component of growth strategy
“With its sporty and elegant design, the new Astra sedan adds new elements to the compact four-door segment,” says Opel Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alfred E. Rieck.
“Like all our Astras it offers a high level of technology and outstanding quality. The new Astra notchback is an important part of our product offensive and plays a key role in Opel’s growth strategy. It is a stylish, more affordable alternative to many four-door sedans in the mid-size segment, therefore we see significant conquest potential not only in Russia but also in many more European countries.”
The sedan is an important addition to the Astra line-up which is now even more diverse and offers new powertrains and driver assistance systems combined with fresh, sporty design. With its elegant appearance, typical Astra qualities and a large array of technological highlights – some are unique, some are unusual for the segment - Opel´s new compact four-door notchback (length/width/height: 4,658/1,814/1,476 mm) targets customers with high expectations. It has a wheelbase of 2,685 mm and provides generous interior space. The separate trunk offers 460 liters of volume - 90 liters more than the five-door model. By folding the 60:40 split rear bench flat the luggage volume can be increased up to a maximum of 1,010 liters.
Start of powertrain renewal with high torque 1.6 liter turbocharged gasoline engine
Opel has announced that it is fundamentally renewing its engine range and the first phase of this plan is starting now. Three completely new engine families are in the pipeline. The gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder with a displacement of 1598 cc, central direct injection and Start/Stop technology is now the first such engine to be unveiled when it makes its debut in Moscow.
The new SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) ECOTEC engine provides an extraordinarily high maximum torque of up to 300 Nm. The production start is scheduled for the end of the year; Russia is expected to be one its biggest markets.
Russia is third biggest Astra market, high demand for compact sedans
Russia is of great importance to Opel. After Germany, it is currently the second biggest automotive market in Europe. Last year around 70,000 Opel cars were sold there. This year, from January to July, the Opel brand grew by 29 percent – more than twice as fast as the market. According to predictions Russia is expected to become Europe´s main market with up to 3.4 million total vehicle sales in 2014. Its high growth potential is down to the low average of vehicles per capita. For example, Russia has half as many vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants as Germany. More than half of all cars on Russian roads are more than ten years old. In this high growth market, four-door sedans and SUVs are in high demand. Across all segments, more than 60 percent of all sedans sold in Europe are sold in Russia. Last year, in the compact segment 51 percent of customers there opted for a notchback version. As Russia is the third biggest market for the Astra in Europe after Germany and the UK, the Moscow Auto Salon was a natural choice for Opel as the venue to celebrate the world premiere of the all-new sedan as well as the five-door and Sports Tourer variants of the new Astra model line-up.