Fleet News

Concept hints at new Vauxhall Astra

VAUXHALL will unveil a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show next week that hints at the design direction being taken with the next generation Astra, due out in early 2004.

The GTC (Gran Turismo Compact) Geneve concept takes design cues from the VX220 and Vectra, and applies them to a three-door hatchback. Although the Astra will be more conventional when it finally appears, a spokesman said the dimensions and styling point to the future car.

Director of design Martin Smith added: 'With the GTC Geneve we want to demonstrate how sporty a three-door sports saloon can be. We set out to make a very dynamic-looking car with space for four passengers that is also immediately recognisable as a Vauxhall.'

The current – inherently conservative – Astra was the second best-selling fleet car in the UK in 2002, behind the more radical-looking Ford Focus, and will face stiff competition from the adventurously-styled new Renault Megane, suggesting the market is becoming more accepting to a less cautious approach.

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