Vauxhall's 2012 Astra cab to be standalone convertibleFri, 07 Oct 2011
Vauxhall's new convertible will not be the Astra cabriolet, CAR has learned. Instead the new Astra-based convertible will be positioned as a separate, standalone model like Volkswagen's Eos.
The new mid-sized Vauxhall/Opel convertible will be launched in 2012. Expect to see it next summer, with UK sales kicking off later in the year. Just in time for another Indian summer, hopes Vauxhall.Vauxhall's new 2012 convertible. What else do we know?
Vauxhall and Opel issued this design sketch a few months ago. We know the new standlone cabrio will ditch the Astra CC's awkwardly frumpy folding hard top in favour of a traditional canvas roof.
The mass market seems to have learned from its mistake of plumping for technically interesting but visually impaired tin tops; many European car makers are ditching the heavy, cumbersome folding hard tops to convert their coupe-convertible successors into trad convertibles.'A perception-changing car' - Mark Adams
According to European design chief at GM, Mark Adams, the new Astra-based convertible will carry a non-Astra name.
'This car demands a new name - it will look nothing like an Astra,' Adams told CAR.
He argues that Vauxhall and Opel are about to enter the third phase of his product renewal programme. It started with the current Insignia - 'a line in the sand car' - and the second phase was replacing the pillars of the range with fresh, modern designs. That's product like the Meriva, Astra and new Zafira Tourer models.
'Next up in 2012 are a string of much fancier cars, new launches will change the perception people have of Vauxhall and Opel,' Adams told CAR.
It sounds like 2012 will be a busy year at GM Europe. It launches a new B-segment baby SUV at the 2012 Geneva motor show, the new highly personalisable Junior at the 2012 Paris motor show and the new Astra-based convertible in between.
By Tim Pollard