The Astra was launched in Europe in 1998. It was available as a 3 and 5-door hatchback, 4-door saloon and two special versions: the Astra Coupé and the Astra Cabrio, both of them designed and built by Bertone. The Astra G/B saw the introduction of a natural gas-powered engine. Its chassis was tuned by Lotus and formed the base of a seven-seater compact MPV, the Opel Zafira.
The manufacturing of Astra G/B continued at GM's Gliwice plant in Poland after the debut of the next-generation Astra H/C, with the older model being branded as Astra Classic
in a similar fashion to its predecessor, catering to the lower end of
the market. Apart from European markets, these models were sold in
Australia and New Zealand as Holden Astra Classic, until they were replaced by the Holden Viva in 2006.
The Astra G/B continues as the locally-built Chevrolet Astra
in Brazil. It was facelifted in 2003, and is sold in Brazil and other
Latin American markets. In Brazil, the Astra G/B remains as the leader
of its segment in sells since 1999.
The GM Brazilian 2.0 8v engine which equips the Astra has the
"flexpower" technology, that allows the car to run on both
gasoline/alcohol fuels, providing 121/127 hp (G/A) @ 5.200 rpm.
A taxi version of the Brazilian sourced model, powered with diesel is sold in Chile as the Chevy Taxi, and a gasoline powered one as the Chevy Urban.
In 2004, GM's Russian joint venture, GM-AvtoVAZ, launched the Chevrolet Viva,
a four-door version of the Astra G/B. It is sold through Chevrolet
dealers in Russia, while Opel dealers sell the newer Opel Astra H/C.
The Astra G series was also the basis for the Astra touring car, raced in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series. Although several cars were entered in the races, only one, driven by Manuel Reuter, placed significantly; it took second in 2000. The car's bodywork featured gull-wing doors that were each supported by two gas struts. The race cars were mostly powered by 4.0L V-8 engines with nearly 500 horsepower.
The Astra XTreme, a concept presented at the 2001 Geneva motor show, was a single-production V8 powered Astra based on the G-series Astra DTM. Like the DTM race car, it featured a 4.0L V8 engine, producing 444 horsepower, gull-wing doors supported by gas struts., carbon fiber panels, and race-specification interior with five-point seatbelts.
Dragos at 17:41 (GMT 2) on 24 Jul 2007]
Opel Astra 1.9 cdti 200 hp by Flash-tuning.ro
, Eagle F1, 17 MSW 20/5 Matt Black rims