For the first time ever the Opel Astra will be built upon the underpinnings of the exquisite Peugeot 308 and its EMP2 platform for 2022, as the European hatchback gets a whole new makeover according to Autocar. While the five-door hatch will still be built in Rüsselsheim, Germany, Opel’s Vice President claims that the new Astra will be as striking as the current Mokka, which we’ve recently called “a beautiful car”.
“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.”
Regardless of the similarities beneath the body panels and plastics, the new Astra will look very different compared to its Peugeot 208 brother, with differentiating exterior and interior styling. But open the bonnet and you’ll be greeted by either a three or four-cylinder engine, available in both petrol and diesel guises. But now according to Autocar, two hybrid versions will also be available, with the more powerful version being the range-topping VXR variant with the powertrain from the Grandland X Plug-In Hybrid4.
If the report from Autocar is true, this hot electric hatch will produce 296 all-wheel-drive horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful Astras ever made by the marque. And thanks to its lower weight compared to the Grandland crossover, it will be faster than its factory figures that currently sit at 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 136mph, if it retains the same internal combustion engine.
This is currently a 1.6-litre turbocharged unit, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox which has been paired to a couple of electric motors. Being a PHEV, it only has a range of 31 miles thanks to a 13.2-kWh battery, but thanks to a lower weight and smaller body, we expect the range to increase.
This is an exciting step forward for Opel, which now sits under PSA, and we look forward to getting a closer look at the car when it is (hopefully) released.