New Vauxhall Astra nearing the end of gruelling test programme ahead of 2021 launch

New model has undergone testing in sub-zero conditions in Sweden.

Vauxhall Astra pre-production
Vauxhall Astra pre-production

Vauxhall has revealed details of the new Astra’s gruelling test programme ahead of its launch later in 2021.

The next generation model has been put through its paces in varied environments, including Swedish Lapland and Germany.

Up in Scandinavia, engineers tested the car in temperatures as low as -30ºC. Doing this ensures that the vehicle’s components continue to work in harsh climates, while also allowing the stability, traction control and anti-lock braking systems to work in low-grip conditions.

Vauxhall Astra pre-production
(Vauxhall)

These engineers were joined by the heating, ventilation and air conditioning teams, known as HVAC, with the goal of heating up the cabin as quickly as possible.

The new Astra will also be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, so engineers worked to ensure the battery cells could reach optimal operating temperatures quickly, even in cold weather.

Completely different testing was undertaken at the Dudenhofen Test Centre in Germany. This facility’s high speed oval was used to calibrate driving aids such as the advanced cruise control and emergency braking.

Vauxhall Astra pre-production
(Vauxhall)

This also provided the chance to work on high-speed comfort as well as stability when braking.

Meanwhile, the prototypes were driven through a 25cm trough of water to make sure all important components were properly sealed from the elements, while a climatic chamber allowed for testing in dusty, sandy conditions.

Mariella Vogler, chief engineer for the Vauxhall Astra, said: “The demanding test programme of the All-New Astra is going exceptionally well.

“The development team – which, by the way, comprises of more female engineers than ever before – has created an uncompromisingly cool new generation of Astra that will thrill our customers.”

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