Despite reports claiming an official world debut in September, Opel, after a series of recent teaser images, unveiled the highly awaited all-new Astra overnight as the first model in the nameplate’s almost 42 year history not to be made with any input from General Motors.
Known internally as the Astra L, Opel’s first all-new Golf rival in six years rides on parent’s company Stellantis’ EMP2 platform shared with the Peugeot 308, and measures 4 374 mm in overall length with the wheelbase increasing by 13 mm to 2 765 mm, the width by 51 mm to 1 860 mm and the height lowered by 15 mm to 1 470 mm. Claimed boot space has improved by 52-litres to 422-litres with the rear seats up.
As evident by the mentioned teasers, the Astra follows the Mokka in being the latest recipient of the Opel Vizor and Compass front facia with the stockier overall appearance being highlighted by an expansive lower air intake, “play button” inspired fog lamp surrounds, an optional contrasting roof and colour coded C-pillar.
Clearly inspired by the previous Astra K from the rear, the interior features Opel’s Pure Panel that combines a ten-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a ten-inch digital instrument cluster. A setup that will only be offered on higher trim grades, the standard system is likely to comprise an eight-inch display with both sporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Despite declining to disclose any in-depth details about the specification items, Opel did confirm key technical aspects relating to the powertrain with the Astra K being the first to offer a plug-in hybrid unit.
In total, the newcomer will arrive in Europe sporting a choice of three engines; the three-cylinder turbocharged 1.2 PureTech rated at 81 kW or 96 kW, a 1.5-litre turbodiesel outputting 96 kW and the mentioned hybrid that combines a 1.6 PureTech four-cylinder with an 81 kW electric motor in two states; 132 kW and 165 kW while offering a claimed all-electric range of 50 km.
Unlike the 308, the Astra will continue to have a six-speed manual gearbox, but only on the petrol and diesel with the option, and indeed standard choice for the plug-in hybrid, being a shift-by-wire toggle switch operated eight-speed automatic.
Not mentioned or indeed confirmed were rumours alleging the return of the OPC that will reportedly produce 221 kW using the PHEV system, and feature an Astra first all-wheel-drive system. In addition, Opel also declined to comment about claims of an all-electric model the Corsa and Mokka both offer.
Entering production later this year for the first time in Opel’s hometown Rüsselsheim, the Astra will go on sale in Europe towards the end of this year or in early 2022 with South African availability likely to be announced once Old Continent sales commences.