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Vauxhall Astravan Unveiled

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All New Vauxhall Astravan

Text & Photos courtesy Adam Opel AG

04-25-2006

One for the load, one for the road

*Vauxhall unveils all-new Astravan

*World Premiere at CV Show 25-27 April

*A real driver’s van, with car-like dynamics and style

*Developed and built in Britain

Summary

It’s the van that can handle the road as well as the load! Vauxhall has pulled the wraps off its new Astravan – the latest incarnation of the company’s most established van brand.

Due to go on sale in 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 ‘Driver’s Van’.

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 it’s purpose-built for commercial duties, yet from behind the wheel it still feels little different to the car.

Manufacturing

New Astravan will be built alongside the Astra five-door hatchback at GM’s 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 Port’s state-of-the-art production line and reputation for exacting quality control.

Chassis and steering

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.

Comfort

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 the Astra car, offering comfort and refinement levels that most van customers would never expect.

Practicality

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.

Engines

Initially, New Astravan will be available with a choice of three diesel engines and one petrol.

The flagship model will use the 120PS 1.9-litre CDTi powerplant from the Astra car range, offering class leading performance, refinement and running costs. A revised version of the current Astravan’s 1.7-litre CDTi unit developing 100PS will also be on offer, along with a 90PS version of Vauxhall’s 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 90PS 1.4-litre engine, the petrol Astravan makes use of GM’s advanced Twinport technology.

Security

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 Astravan’s 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, that’s one of the greatest features of all!

On sale date

New Astravan will arrive at Vauxhall LCV retailers in autumn 2006. Until then, the current Astravan will remain on sale.

Prices and specification for New Astravan have yet to be announced, but more details on the model line-up will be announced in the summer.

Posted Image

Link: http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm/count...uxhall-astravan

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Chevy needs to build a two-door panel version of the HHR. One for the general public, and one with more utilitarian interior and wheels for small businesses.

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Welcome to the site pinchefrijolero.

While the idea of the HHR offering a panel van variant sounds interesting, I doubt many people would purchase it in North America, which is currently, the only place selling it. Why? The size.

I know the PT cruiser offers it, but how many do you see here? Not much.

They probably sell more overseas in Europe.

This vehicle is alright. Nothing special.

Edited by Cadillacfan

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that thing is horrid, better let the europeans keep that one to themselves

There is a market for cargo vehicles this size. Most Astravans go to small businesses and company reps. They generally don't need to carry a lot of cargo, just flat-folded merchandising displays, POS promotional material, cut flowers etc. Nissan and Toyota have small station wagons in Japan dedicated to this role, and even in the US a lot of Vibes go to small businesses for use as delivery vans for items as large as washing machines. Without dedicated LCVs such as the Transit Connect, Opel Combo and Fiat Doblo, the HHR panel will fill a burgeoning market niche in the US. Note the Japanese no longer have any vehicles in this class, although Toyota briefly had one in Japan. The Japanese market for larger LCVs is filled by compact vans such as the Suzuki APV, the ancient Mazda Bongo (also sold by Mitsubishi and Nissan) and Toyota LiteAce/TownAce (Chevy/GMC style rebadging).

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Welcome to the site pinchefrijolero.

While the idea of the HHR offering a panel van variant sounds interesting, I doubt many people would purchase it in North America, which is currently, the only place selling it.  Why?  The size.

I know the PT cruiser offers it, but how many do you see here?  Not much.

They probably sell more overseas in Europe.

This vehicle is alright.  Nothing special.

Well if the HHR Panel Van gets a decent Diesel engine, I don't see why people wouldn't buy it. It's a nice alternative for smaller businesses.

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Chevy needs to build a two-door panel version of the HHR.  One for the general public, and one with more utilitarian interior and wheels for small businesses.

((((AMEN!!))))--- 8) ---The return of the PANNEL TRUCK but in a smaller more efficent package would be a GREAT THING for GM to do. Nobody is doing that in the states now yet they are doing well in Europe. I could see small businesses useing it instead of INEFFICENT LARGE VANS. I could also see young males useing them as SPEAKER FILLED BOOM-BOOM SHACKA-LACKA CUSTOMS! I think they would do well here! :)

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While I don't think we need an Astravan in the states, I agree a HHR panel should do well. One example I can immidiately think of where it could & probably would be used is for auto parts stores. A good friend of mine works at one that caters more to businesses (repair shops, body shops, industry, etc), and they have 3-4 company vehicles, including some small trucks, minivans, and even a Focus for delivering parts. It's incredibly rare that even a 2nd person is in the vehicle, they just need space for parts. An HHR panel would be perfect for them, especially if the back end was easily cleaned if they hauled something nasty back there. A good diesel would be great, but even just a simple Ecotec engine would probably do for this application.

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Without dedicated LCVs such as the Transit Connect, Opel Combo and Fiat Doblo, the HHR panel will fill a burgeoning market niche in the US.

An absolutely excellent point. Many of the office buildings we do work in are home to companies that either have couriers or use such vehicles to courier things themselves. We also have several subcontractors that would surely have a need for such a vehicle. Right now, they operate anything from Vibes/Matricies, to xBs, to 4cyl Plymouth Voyagers, to PTs and HHrs. Many of them love the Pts and HHrs for their roominess inside.

I think a nice commercial lineup of HHr panels and a stripped ECOTEC Uplander cargo (now that the Astro is dead) would be nice, worthwhile additions to GM's Fleet lineup.

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Sorry, I don't dig panel vans.

Give that sucker some more windows, and I'll love it.

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It might be a van, but as far as vans go it's pretty good looking. If I had to drive a business van, I sure wouldn't mind stepping into this one. As mentioned before it does seem to have the perfect size for transporting washer machines and other appliances of that size. Not bad GM, I give it a thumbs up :thumbsup:

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