General Motors will this week unveil their latest vehicular offering in the form of the all new Opel Astra. What makes this launch particularly interesting is that the automaker will also be officially announcing the car brand’s name change from Opel Astra to Opel aStar. Little else has been revealed by General Motors but without a doubt more information will be shared at the launch. What I can share though is that the brand has had a couple of name changes in the past, dating back to 1991 when it launched in South Africa as the Opel Kadett. In 1999 the Kadett became known as the Opel Astra and within a few days it will become known as the Opel aStar.
Without waiting to hear the rationale behind the name change I must confess that it will take me some time to get used hearing of an Opel aStar and by “some time” I mean a couple of years. You see, I am unapologetically possessive over this particular car brand and have had a long standing love affair with it because the very first car I bought for myself (and with my own hard earned cash) was an Opel Kadett 140i. Later I replaced the 140i with its wicked and cheeky sibling, the 200is which I nicknamed “Treasure”; a name inspired by the then popular DJ Treasure Tshabalala whose deep rumbling voice was not too unlike the throaty exhaust note made by the 200is when it was idling.
I sincerely hope that the automaker hasn’t tampered with anything else relating to this iconic vehicle other than giving it more oomph under the hood to retain its “feisty family car” title, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
If you follow me on @drivinginheels you’ll get up-to-the minute updates as the launch unfolds later this week.