A quiet local market entrant last month in facelift guise, still powered by a General Motors (GM) based engine instead of the PSA units used in Europe, a new report from the United Kingdom has shed more light on the all-new Opel Astra earmarked for introduction next year.
Heading for production in Opel’s hometown of Rüsselsheim instead of the Gliwice Plant in Poland or Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port in the UK, the Blitz’s Vice President for Design, Mark Adams, confirmed to Britain’s Autocar that the Astra, which will adopt the ‘L’ internal moniker as opposed to the current five year old Astra K, will take after the Mokka in featuring the brand’s Bold and Pure styling language, complete with the Opel Vizor and Compass.
“What [the new Mokka] is to this segment, that car [the Astra] will be to its segment. The boldness and the key elements [of the Mokka] will be coming through. We’re not going to take the same design and morph it into a different shape. We’ll take the same ingredients and develop it around them,” Adams said.
“As soon as we became part of the PSA Group, I had the opportunity to just think about what we want the brand to be. That was the brief (PSA CEO) Carlos [Tavares] gave to me: ‘Right, you can do what you want to do for the brand.’ We had the freedom to take it to where we wanted to go. So we came up with this whole philosophy and the look of the car by thinking about how we want to distil the values of the brand down to key elements”.
Despite details having largely been kept under wraps, what is known is that the Astra will switch from the current GM D2XX platform to PSA’s EMP2 and feature an assortment of petrol and diesel engines, plus an Astra first plug-in hybrid with an-electric derivative likely at some stage.
Also rumoured for revival is the hardcore OPC moniker, or VXR in Vauxhall-speak, that will replace the GSI reintroduced three years ago, albeit with electrical assistance in the form of a hybrid or plug-in hybrid configuration with internal combustion power likely to come from a three or four-cylinder engine of unconfirmed displacement.
“We haven’t lost this sporting brand, and it will remain at the forefront of performance motoring in the mainstream,” an unnamed Vauxhall spokesperson told carbuyer.co.uk two years ago, adding that the designation “will always be a hardcore offering, with a jump in performance as well as very focussed dynamics”.
The VXR/OPC nomenclature is however set to make its return first on the new Corsa next year before debuting on the Astra, although it remains to be seen in what capacity given that the most powerful Corsa is the all-electric Corsa-e whereas the range-topping petrol, the three-cylinder 1.2 PureTech, punches out 96 kW, a far cry from the 141 kW and 154 kW delivered by the last OPC and the special edition OPC Nürburgring that made use of a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.