Vauxhall Unveils All-New Astravan
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25th April, 2006
Itís the van that can handle the road as well as the load! Vauxhall has pulled the wraps off its new Astravan Ė the latest edition of the companyís most established van brand.
Due to go on sale in the northern autumn 2006, the newcomer has been designed and developed in the UK, where almost 10,000 Astravans a year are sold. It has been designed from the ground up to be every inch the ĎDriverís Vaní.
Based on the platform of the Astra estate, New Astravan retains the dynamic abilities, style and comfort of the car but with even greater practicality. Every component has been reassessed or redesigned so itís purpose-built for commercial duties, yet from behind the wheel it still feels little different to the car.
New Astravan will be built alongside the Astra five-door hatchback at GMís manufacturing facility in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. The plant was home to the current Astravan until 2004, when the line was transferred to Poland to make way for car production.
The greater commonality between New Astravan and the current Astra means it will once again be built in Britain, and will take advantage of Ellesmere Portís state-of-the-art production line and reputation for exacting quality control.
New Astravan uses the same basic design as the Astra Estate, but the rear axle has been redesigned to allow the fuel tank to be moved. This allows for extra load space and a completely flat floor without harming the driving dynamics, while the rear torsion beam has been adapted to cater for carrying heavier loads.
If you use a van as an essential tool of your work, you must have a pleasant working environment. The Astravan shares its ergonomically-designed layout with other Astra models, offering comfort and refinement levels that most van customers would never expect.
New Astravan has a 9mm longer wheelbase than the existing model, giving improvements to handling and ride, plus extra interior space both in the cabin and the load bay.
The tailgate opens low and wide and the floor itself is 79mm longer and 6mm wider than in the current Astravan. Loads of up to 24mm higher than the outgoing model can also be stowed in the back, while the overall payload has been increased to 650kg.
Initially, New Astravan will be available with a choice of three diesel engines and one petrol.
The flagship model will use the 1.9-litre CDTi powerplant from the Astra car range, offering class leading performance, refinement and running costs. A revised version of the current Astravanís 1.7-litre CDTi unit will also be on offer, along with a version of Vauxhallís award-winning 1.3CDTi engine.
All three diesel units will be Euro 4 compliant from launch, as will the one petrol addition to the range. Powered by a 1.4-litre engine, the petrol Astravan makes use of GMís advanced Twinport technology.
All models will have remote central deadlocking and tamper-proof protected door locks, while a perimetric alarm system and a solid rear tailgate will be offered on the options list.
One of Astravanís greatest security features, however, is in its design. Unlike most vans, you can tuck it away overnight in a conventional garage. And to anyone who has ever had to load and unload a nearly-full van twice a day, thatís one of the greatest features of all!
The new Astravan is not expected in Australia.
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