With 4.13 million units produced, the first generation of Astra is the best-selling model of the Opel brand. Back on its 30 years of history.
This year, the blitz firm will lift the veil on the sixth generation of the Opel Astra: the famous German compact should now share its technical architecture with the new Peugeot 308, unveiled last month. This launch comes in the year of the 30 years anniversary of the Astra, initially launched in 1991.
L’Opel Astra F is the first generation of the Astra, but it is also the seventh generation of the compact sedans of the German firm: indeed, it replaces the Opel Kadett, whose very first generation was produced between 1937 and 1940. The name Kadett was then reused from 1962 and until 1993, with five generations (from A to E): this is why the Astra took over from the latter, starting its “numbering” at ” F ”.
This change of name can be explained by the fact that, when it was launched in the fall of 1991, theOpel Astra has radically changed its philosophy compared to its ancestor: it wants to be more respectful of the environment and more livable, while offering a wide choice of silhouettes and engines, topped by sporty versions GSi strong of 115 and 150 horses. The Opel Astra F was offered as a three, four and five-door sedan, station wagon as well as a convertible, the latter having been bodied by the Italian Bertone.
In addition to its new cutting-edge pollution control technologies for the time, such as a three-way catalytic converter or an oxidation catalyst for Diesel models, the interior trim of the Opel Astra F was made of polypropylene, a material for which Opel has developed an innovative recycling process that is compatible with the environment. Exterior elements, such as bumper brackets or wheel arch guards, are made from recycled materials.
The Opel Astra F also served as laboratory for the development of new technologies : for example, the Astra Impuls III was equipped with a electric motor which offered a maximum range of 160 kilometers, while a fuel-efficient version of the Astra station wagon natural gas (GNV) has equipped several fleets of public services and local communities.
Between 1991 and 1997, the Opel Astra F was produced in 4.13 million copies, and is to date the best-selling model of the Opel brand. As it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the first generation Astra is now eligible for the collector’s license: advice to enthusiasts!
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