By SYDNEY MORWENG & MPHO HLAPISI
THE OPEL ASTRA TURBO was launched with a lot of fun-fare in mzansi, and the owners General Motors should be walking with their heads held-up for unveiling such a stunner.
What a head-turner and oh yes, all and sundry drooled.
The Opel Astra Turbo has arrived, indeed!
For the uninitiated this is a vast improvement from the 1994 Opel Kadett 200is, which was a hit and marvel for the Sowetans in nineties. I mentioned Soweto because my old-man owned one. Within a minute -unbeknown to me- became a hit and popular amongst the locals, especially when we made our way to church on Sundays dressed to the nines in our famous Darks of London (D&D) and well polished pair of Crocket & Jones!
Now fast track to 2010.
The latest Turbo sport which was given a strenuous test as we made our trip to North West in Ganalaagte, a village which is 100km away from Mmabatho the capital city of the province, proved the new Opel Astra comes with a four model range.
Linked to that is a line-up of three petrol engines, a 1,6 litre naturally aspirated unit, a 1,4 litre turbo engine, and a 1,6 litre turbo engine. Power output ranges from 85 kW to 132 kW.
All three engines are based on the Opel brand’s philosophy of providing drivers with affordable, real-life efficiency.
Boasting the 1.6T Engine, it revved and took off at an incredible speed with aplomb thanks to its new engine line-up which cuts CO2 and fuel consumption by more than 12 percent.
Interior (Black is beautiful)
The ‘Emergency Parking Brake’ is so unique that you cannot pull it when the car is in motion, since you have to step on the foot brake to pull it or release, thanks to the latest finger button which has become an in-thing recently.
The likeable leather interior and use of ergonomic sports seats eases your mind thus convenient to adjust intelligently.
Inside mirror automatically shows a ‘greenish’ deem to the rear window at night to protect you from on-coming vehicles bright lights and behind.
The Astra Turbo lighting system called the AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) has its own way of significant presentation when-ever light is needed at night. It tilts lights according to the safer visibility condition in curves, and to the oncoming traffic and it gives a certain shape of light according to the speed you are traveling at.
With multi-xenon headlamps, AFL+ is offered as part of a Premium Lighting Pack. This also includes High Beam Assist (automatic headlamp beam switching), LED daytime running lights and headlamp washers.
AFL+ features a total of nine configurations, complemented by the Daytime Running Light function. Each of the configurations is automatically engaged to suit prevailing road profiles and driving conditions.
The wheels Alloys are originally a low profile at 225/45 18 inch and can maintain balance perfectly, even in a bumpy gravel road with a ‘dead-break’ which are ABS in both the rear and front wheels.
You should experience the six forward gears. The pedals are easy to play with unlike other vehicles; the Opel Astra has a very short-stroked 1st gear and picks up power within a second.
Opel is well known for low repair costs and reasonably priced spare parts. Efficient fuel consumption also means low operating costs. With the cost of ownership low, the savings add up.
The bonnet – a high budget item – is safeguarded not only because of how it is made but also where it is located. It was placed high and set back so that it lies in a well protected position.
Sporty good looks, superb comfort, dynamic handling, innovative technology for the segment and a new level of fuel efficiency provide the ingredients for the all new Opel Astra that is.
Another element is the boot which is big enough to accommodate all of my wardrobe, and a couple of ‘waters of Babylon’ boxes. How can I forget to mention three heads of sheep’s?
Wanna be seen traversing in this beau, well you’ll have to fork out a reasonable R280 000 now available at leading motoring stores countrywide.