2016 Vauxhall Astra revealed

The new seventh-generation Vauxhall Astra has been unveiled, ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Vauxhall says the new model will be up to 200kg lighter then the previous car, thanks to the use of ultra high strength steels among other measures.

The new car is also smaller externally – 5cm shorter, 2.6cm lower and with a 2cm shorter wheelbase – although the company claims space in the cabin has actually been increased, with redesigned seats that offer 35mm more legroom, for example.

The design – created by a team led by Brit Mark Adams – is said to convey a more athletic look than any previous Astra, with more aggressive headlights, an appealing set of rear lights, and a new graphic element for Astra: the divided C-pillar that creates the impression of a floating roof.

For the first time, the new Astra will be equipped with OnStar; the system can alert an advisor if the airbags are deployed, help emergency services locate the vehicle, and provide a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to seven devices.

Also featuring will be the company’s IntelliLink system, compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  When connected to a suitable smartphone, the system provides access to Google Maps, Google Now, Skype, Spotify, and a variety of other app-based services.

The system is controlled via an eight-inch colour touch-screen, via voice control, or by using the remote buttons on the steering wheel.

The new Astra will be the first Vauxhall to make use of LED headlights.  Dubbed IntelliLux LED Matrix Light, the system comprises 16 LED units (eight per side) that can be selectively illuminated to alter the length and distribution of the beam pattern.

Using the windscreen-mounted camera, the system can detect other road users and alter the high-beam pattern to avoid dazzle.

Other technology expected to arrive on the new Astra includes traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, 18-way adjustable front seats with massage function, and the option of heated rear seats.

The new Astra will make its public debut at Frankfurt in September, before going on sale later in the year.