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Astra coupe has Bertone design

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Vauxhall toyed with the idea of calling the new Astra coupe model Calibra after the successful Cavalier-based car. But Astra is a strong brand name so the proposal was dropped, said product manager Andrew Cullis.

Instead, buyers will be able to point to the discreet Bertone badge on the side. Mr Cullis said the Italian design house was called in “to give us a more emotional design and a more Italian flavour”.

Last year, the coupe market in the UK was worth 73,000 units, dominated by the BMW 3 Series. Mr Cullis sees the Astra fitting in between the smaller Ford Puma, Citroen Xsara and Renault Megane class and the larger Peugeot 406, Ford Cougar and BMW 3 Series.

UK sales begin in July with Vauxhall targeting 2,000 units, rising to 6,000 in a full year. Prices are expected to start at about £16,000 for the 1.8, with the 2.2-litre at £17,500 and the turbo coming in at under £20,000.

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