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Vauxhall opens up new Astra estate

Vauxhall has taken the wraps off its new Astra Sports Tourer estate, which will make its public debut at the Paris motor show in September before going on sale at the end of 2010.

The new Astra estate will be one of the first Vauxhall models to use Stop/Start technology to save fuel and lower emissions by switching off the engine when the car is at a standstill.

It will be built at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire and the Astra Sports Tourer offers more passenger and load space than the car is replaces. The wheelbase remains the same as the hatch's, but the maximum load length has been increased by 28mm to 1835mm compared to the old Astra wagon.

With the rear seats in use, the Sports Tourer has a 500 litre boot capacity and with the rear seats folded it can handle up to 1550 litres of cargo.

Vauxhall is also introducing a new FlexFold system for the rear seats that allows the 60/40 split and tip rear seats to be lowered at the touch of a button in the boot's wall. This will be an option on lower specification models, but with the seat folded, there's a completely flat load floor.

When the Astra Sports Tourer goes on sale, it will use the same range of petrol and turbodiesel engines as the hatch. An ecoFLEX model will follow on shortly after launch with a 94bhp 1.3-litre diesel that comes with Start/Stop technology and a diesel particulate filter.

Other technology to feature will include items already seen on the larger Insignia Sports Tourer, such as Trailer Stability Assist to prevent caravans and trailers snaking.

Vauxhall has yet to announce prices for the Astra Sports Tourer.

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