Behold the 2011 Opel Astra Sport Tourer (European speak for wagon). While wagons don’t enjoy the same popularity in the United States as they do in Europe, The Delta 2-based Astra Tourer is an important addition to the Opel/Vauxhall lineup. That’s because the five-door wagon variant accounts for nearly 25 percent of the overall Astra volume in Europe. The Sports Tourer will make its public debut this October at the Paris Motor Show. Until then, here are a few details to hold you over.
The Astra Sports Tourer uses a new FlexFold rear seat system that allows the rear seats to be folded down with a press of a single button in the tailgate. The feature is commonly seen on larger SUVs and minivans, but it’s a first for compact wagons: the Astra is the only model in its class to have the capability. With the rear seats folded, the Sports Tourer’s efficient trunk design allows it to hold up to 1,550 liters (54.6 cubic feet).
And since this is – after all – a modern Opel, you can be sure it will be fun to drive. Opel has fitted its FlexRide adaptive suspension system to the Sports Tourer, which includes standard, tour, and sport driving modes. Opel (and – consequently – Vauxhall) will offer eight engine choices, ranging from 95 to 180 horsepower. One of the powerplants will be the 1.4-liter turbocharged four ECOTEC, the same engine that will be used in the U.S.-market Chevrolet Cruze in the fall of 2010.
Looks like the mighty VW Golf (Jetta in the U.S.) wagon has itself some competition from The General. In the end, the Astra Sports Tourer seems to be a fun compact wagon and the Vauxhall version twin can’t be too far behind. All this brings up what is perhaps the most important question of today: how about a Chevrolet Cruze hatch and/or wagon? Check out the gallery below and watch the video (and its Shaft-like soundtrack) after the break.