Opel has released the first official pictures of its new Astra range. It has been given a radical change and has a strong wedge shape with a wide grille. What do you think?

Opel has released the first official pictures of its new Astra range to be introduced at the Frankfurt Show in September. It mirrors the GTC Genéve concept introduced earlier this year.

reports that the new model goes on sale in Europe early next year. These are pictures of the British right-hand version badged as a Vauxhall.

Initially, five petrol and three turbo-diesel engines will be offered. The range consists of 1,4- to 2,0-litre engines with power outputs ranging from 60 kW to 150 kW. The new powertrains are the 1,9-litre CDTI diesel and the 2,0-litre turbo petrol engines coupled as standard to a new six-speed manual transmission. Opel is also offering a five-speed manual gearbox, an automatic and Easytronic automated manual transmission.

The car features a high shoulder line, strong wedge shape, pronounced wheel arches and clear-cut window graphics. The bold face features a wide grille and three-dimensional, clear-glass headlamps.

The large rear lamps have a special light-scattering, "translucent" technology. The low, curved roofline, combined with the tapering front and rear overhangs, the long wheelbase (2,61 m) and the wide track, give the new Astra a sleek appearance. It will also feature 18-inch light-alloy wheels as an option.

The new Astra offers more passenger space than its predecessor, thanks to its slightly increased overall dimensions (about 14 cm longer, 2 cm wider and 4 cm higher).

The technological highlights include the adaptive suspension system IDSPlus (interactive driving system) with continuous damping control (CDC).

According to Opel, CDC helps the dampers react in real time to variations in the road surface or driving style and adjust themselves automatically. With the IDSPlus system, the driver can switch to a sport mode that regulates the damping characteristics as well as the response of the accelerator pedal and the power assistance of the electro-hydraulic steering.

Opel’s new AFL (adaptive forward lighting) headlamp system is offered for the first time in the Astra-size segment. It also has automatic headlamp activation, which switches the car’s lights on automatically in the dark.

The five-door model will be followed later by the estate and sporty three-door.