High up: The new Opel Astra celebrated its world premiere on 1 September at the headquarters in Rüsselsheim, and its public premiere took place on 18 September on the Simonhöhe in Carinthia, Austria.

Peak Performer

The new Opel Astra is opening a new era – and for its public premiere it travelled 770 kilometres southeast from its home in Rüsselsheim to Carinthia in Austria. On September 18, the newcomer presented itself to a community that loves beautiful cars at the Simonhöhe. Surrounded by dark green forests and turquoise mountain lakes, the “XS Carnight Wörthersee Edition 3.0” took place here, a tuning meeting for lovers of refined cars; and because tuning is not only about increasing engine power, but above all about arousing emotions and celebrating the love of cars, the event was the perfect stage for the star from Rüsselsheim – in the midst of car enthusiasts.

Opel also brought some rarities to the 1,300-metre-high alpine pasture: the “back-to-the-future” style icon Manta GSe ElektroMOD and the “bring-pure-racing-technology-to-the-road” Astra OPC EXTREME. There was also a real WRC hero, the Opel Ascona B 400, the model with which Walter Röhrl and his co-driver Christian Geistdörfer won the World Rally Championship in 1982. “The visitors’ interest in our exhibits – especially the new Astra – was huge,” said Opel Brand Manager Peter Junghanns.

The star guest: The new Astra in the premiere colour “Amber Yellow” on a specially built podium.
The crisp lines of the new Astra…
… were a popular photo.

Together with Michael Splieth from the Opel Concept Workshop, Peter Junghanns was on site all day and had lively discussions about the sporty lines of the low-slung Astra, the Opel Vizor brand face, the slim headlights or the Pure Panel cockpit. The event’s code of honour is: brand hatred stays out.

“XS Carnight” –
a global trademark

“XS Carnight” – for those who know the scene, this is the trademark for the biggest brand-open tuning meetings ever. The 450 parking spaces for the event near Lake Wörthersee were therefore gone faster than you can say “Manta GSe ElektroMOD”. More than 1,800 entries had been received through the organiser’s Instagram appeal alone. Due to Corona guidelines, tickets were limited to 1,000 visitors.

A place in the sun: 1,000 visitors enjoyed the day in beautiful weather.
The rally icon: All-white exterior with blue and red stripes, stripped-out cockpit – the Ascona 400 continues to thrill motorsport fans.
The audience: The visitors who come to the tuning meeting are a close-knit community that gladly welcomes new faces.

Many young people came, families with their children. A community that gladly welcomes new faces; and it is not the fun-filled party that makes the event, but the collective admiration for automotive treasures. In the “golden hour”, the time right before sunset, when the light is soft and warm, car enthusiasts gather in deckchairs, enjoy the last rays of the sun and talk shop about turbo boost – that is the essence and the highlight of every “XS Carnight”.

From little acorns…:
The “XS Carnight” story begins small

The beginnings of the “XS Carnight” events go back to 1998. Like every good story or mighty oak, it starts small. With just a few cars in a car park in Freital near Dresden. An Opel Corsa B is there, a VW GTI, all dolled up with a lot of dedication according to the owners’ ideas. There are more and more of them from meeting to meeting. Today, the “XS Carnight” series is the best-known label for brand-open tuning meetings – worldwide. The 20th anniversary of the first meeting was celebrated in 2018 with thousands of visitors in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, there are regular events in Japan and Finland, and in the USA the crew has already hosted the “XS Carnight Meet” six times in Long Beach, California. The online tuning magazine “XS Mag”, founded in 2010, has been available as a classy print magazine for three years, it goes to 20,000 subscribers in ten countries.

In high demand: The 450 parking spaces for the event were sold out immediately. The Manta RestoMOD from Rüsselsheim greeted those who got a ticket.

The “XS-Edition” tuning empire is growing continuously. But what has remained the same over all these years is the crew around Andreas Füllborn and the motto “We Are One”. “The team spirit is the best. We are 15 friends who have built up the label together with a lot of love,” emphasises the founder. The second “XS” constant is quality. Because even if musician Justin Bieber wants to exhibit his freshly tuned Ferrari at the “XS Carnight” in Long Beach, California, the world star has to enter like everyone else. “Our quality standards are sacred to us: the overall impression of the car is what counts. In addition, we pay attention to a good mix of classics, sportiness and rarities,” emphasises Füllborn.   

“Yes it’s true:

Once Opel, always Opel.”

The fact that the new Opel Astra is celebrating its public premiere at the “XS Carnight” on Simonhöhe is something very special for the Freital tuning entrepreneur. Even though the events are consistently open to all brands, his heart has always beaten for the brand with the Blitz. The Opel Corsa B that stood in the car park at the very first meeting in Freital in 1998 was his. Andreas Füllborn says: “Yes, there is some truth to it: once Opel, always Opel. I know people here who feel the same way. In any case, I’m very pleased that the Astra has been so well received by our community!”

“I’m delighted that the Astra has been so well received by our community!”

Andreas Füllborn


September 2021

Photos: XS Mag