Vauxhall has lifted the lid on the latest version of its new Astra – the stunning TwinTop.

Using the latest in roof technology, the folding hard top is composed of three main parts instead of the two used by rivals. This means there are far fewer compromises to the car’s rear-end looks and interior space, and the TwinTop retains all the style and grace for which the Astra range has become renowned.

At the press of a button, the two overhead sections of the roof stack on top of the rear window to fold away neatly into a compact space under the rear tonneau. The result is a practical four-seater open top for enjoying the summer sun, coupled to the practicality, security and refinement of a snug four-seater coupe in less clement weather.

Set to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the newcomer will go on sale in spring 2006. It will come with a choice of four engines, including Vauxhall’s acclaimed 150PS 1.9-litre performance diesel.

Entry-level versions will use the 105bhp 1.6-litre Twinport petrol engine, while other petrol choices will include an all-new fuel efficient 1.8-litre 140PS unit. The flagship model uses the storming 200PS 2.0-litre Turbo from the Astra SRi.

The newcomer will build on Vauxhall’s reputation for stylish design inside too, with new trims and upholstery which will be exclusive to the TwinTop model.

Rather than being a ‘chop-top’ the Astra has been designed from the ground up to be a convertible, and as such has an exceptionally rigid bodyshell. In addition to preserving the hatchback model’s exceptional safety record, this also ensures its acclaimed driving dynamics are also maintained.

Prices for the TwinTop will be announced closer to the on sale date, but in common with other models in the Vauxhall stable are expected to offer great value for money.