DESIGNING THE NEW Astra 'was not a matter of playing free jazz,' says Hans Herman Wirth, 42, chief designer of Operl's new car.
The Astra's design resulted from long consideration.
'There was no space for gimmicks since we wanted to create a long-lasting design,' says Wirth, who was responsible for styling everything in the Astra range except the Zafira compact minivan. 'At a very early stage we decided on the definitive design direction.'
For example, he says, 'the shoulder feature line was applied to visualize the Astra's inner qualities: safety, dynamism and quality. It also gives the car a technological look.'
A sportier appearance was achieved by integrating the grille into the hood, he says. The design philosophy was inspired by changing public taste.
'The form language in particular has changed from organic shapes to more tensional surfaces and crisper lines,' he says.
But Wirth said he and his team reacted to more than the times.
'In the past, design was steered only by signs of the times and a demand for new developments,' he says. 'Nowadays, a strong brand character is essential.'