The astraglass-hugging and lightweight AstraZeneca is about to enter the next phase of its evolution.
The company’s first foray into the vehicle segment, the AstraZeph, has been launched this month and is a direct response to the increasing demand for the type of vehicle for which it was created.
“This is a big opportunity for Astra Zeneca, because we want to help the customers who have not yet decided which car to buy,” says John McAlister, Astra Zeph CEO.
“They are looking for a high-performance, fuel-efficient vehicle with an attractive price tag.”
The company will roll out the Astragalus to dealers in January 2018 and then to the general public later in the year.
The AstraZEBUS is a two-seat sports coupe that features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine and electric motor, coupled to an aluminium body.
It has a range of 320 kilometres on a single charge, and a top speed of 217 kilometres per hour (157 mph).
Astra is the first vehicle to make the switch to the new engine, which has been engineered with “aero efficiency and performance in mind”, according to the company.
“The AstraZeBUS delivers up to 8 per cent greater fuel economy than the Astraspeed and the Astravale,” says McAlisters.
“With an aerodynamically optimized engine, the new Astra zeBUS offers greater fuel efficiency and is ideal for everyday driving, with a greater ability to achieve a more comfortable and secure driving position.”
The Astragalaspeed has a similar fuel efficiency as the Astrakispeed, which is based on the same V8.
“It is an extremely competitive, high-horsepower sports car,” says MacAlister.
“There are many different levels of performance, and we have the best in the world.”
It is also expected to be able to achieve even greater fuel-efficiency, with the Astrapass range of 350 kilometres on charge and a maximum top speed.
“If you look at the cars we have sold, the performance levels are not what they were before,” says Mr McAlisher.
“We think that there is a need for more people to take advantage of the Astralike and Astraze cars, and for the consumer to benefit from all of that.”
The car also has a new and improved aerodynamic system, which includes a new front wing, new rear wing, and an improved air intake system.
The new design also features the company’s “Elevator” system, with an aerodynamic design that uses aerodynamic deflection in the form of “a massive ‘halo’ of air that rises from the front of the vehicle to the rear.”
It features “an array of air intakes, which provide air flow to the car to allow for maximum power transfer.”
The team says that the Astracast has a “low centre of gravity” and can reach a top speeds of up to 240 kilometres per trip (187 mph) on a fuel-injected, 1.5-litres V8 turbocharged petrol engine.
Astra says that it is working with BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and Volvo to create a future “global” car that will provide the best possible experience for consumers.