Opel has commenced pre-production testing of the all-new Astra with a fresh report confirming the return of the estate and a model first plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Snapped by motor1.com decked out in heavy layers of black and yellow wrapping, the internally designated Astra L will be the first developed without any input from long-time former parent company General Motors (GM) following it and sister brand’s Vauxhall sale to the PSA Group, now Stellantis, in 2017.
Despite being difficult to decipher any styling traits thanks to the disguise, what is known is as that the Astra will switch from the current GM era D2XX platform to the PSA developed EMP2 underpinning the new Peugeot 308, with the exterior set to go the same route as the Mokka by featuring the Opel Vizor and Compass at the front.
In the latest confirmation as indicated, the Rüsselsheim marque’s CEO, Michael Lohscheller, told Automotive News Europe that the sharing of the 308’s platform will be a “big benefit” to Opel as it will result in not only cost saving by excluding developing a new base, but also using the same powertrains.
As it stands, the Astra will more than likely feature the 308’s turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, as well as the mentioned plug-in hybrid made up of the 1.6 PureTech turbo-petrol combined with an 81 kW electric motor in two states of tune; 132 kW and 165 kW.
In a departure from the current Astra K that received PSA engines last year as part of a mid-life facelift, the Astra L will solely be built in Rüsselsheim and unlike the 308, feature a performance model in the shape of the revived OPC that could produce as much as 221 kW from the plug-in hybrid system.
Significantly more than the 206 kW produced by the last OPC’s 2.0-litre turbo, the hot Astra will reportedly also be all-wheel drive, a first for the nameplate founded by Vauxhall in 1979 for the UK-market version of the Kadett D. It is anticipated to debut only in 2022.
With sightings likely to increase over the coming months, motor1.com claims that the Astra could debut in September with production to start not long after.