Future Cars: GM Goes Focus ST Hunting With New Opel & Vauxhall Astra GSI

Opel’s (and Vauxhall’s) Astra has been a love-hate affair for myself; see I quite fancy the more recent OPC/VXR twins of recent years due to their rapid performance and uber-slick styling.

Yet back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, it was a nameplate adorned with mediocrity; especially its comer-inducing styling that sat in stark contrast to the radical Ford Focus of its era.

Fortunately, GM’s European subsidiary is not in the business of repeating those earlier mistakes and has been putting the finishing touches on its next-generation small hatch – illustrated exclusively here in spicy GSI hot-hatch guise.

Athletic New Design:

There is nothing too much wrong with the out-going Astra; a reasonably attractive car with solid fundamentals. The MY2016 refines the formula and gives the car a leaner, toned, more athletic attire. Elements like the bodyside shoulder line and lower door scallops are very pronounced, whilst the rear door cut-line almost has an VW Golf vibe to it.

At the front, IntelliLux full-LED matrix headlamps have horizontal chrome elements that flow towards the upper portion of the grille. Lower down, the foglight’s are enclosed in chrome blade-like housings – not too dissimilar to the design treatment adorned on Opel’s stunning Monza Concept
On The Inside:

A bugbear of the current Astra interior is its button-laden center stack; whilst not too complicated to use, it’s a visual nightmare. Good news is that the all-new car has gone for a much cleaner, button-free look with separated HVAC zones and an new touchscreen infotainment display.

Interior styling largely carries over the same theme as the old car, however it’s much more refined with premium materials and detailing – gunning directly at its Volkswagen rival for interior ambience.

What Could Drive It:

Powering the standard Astra will be a range of all-new Ecotec small displacement petrol engines. These range from 1.0 to 1.5-liters in capacity and will offer turbocharging; they’ve also been designed for hybrid capability later down the track.

What will power the rumored GSI and higher performance OPC variants remains to be seen; the former will need to be in the Ford Focus ST’s 250hp range to keep competitive, whilst the OPC/VXR will most likely punch 300hp or above.

Market Positioning:

The Astra trades punches in Europe with main contenders like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. Other rivals include the Mazda3, Toyota Auris, Renault Megane, Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30.

Riding on a revised Delta platform and accompanied diet program; the new car should be at the top of the aforementioned pack with nimble handling and class-leading fuel economy – but will it be enough to dethrone the Golf? We can’t wait to find out.

A full reveal for the five-door hatch is penciled in for June with other variants like the wagon, sedan and high-performance versions being unveiled later on.

It would be interesting to see if GM had any thoughts about bringing the car to the US as a sister model to the Buick Verano.

Tell us what you think in the discussion area below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

Photo Gallery

  • MarketAndChurch

    I think this looks better then what we’re going to get, but Opel hasn’t given me too much reason to doubt them before, so I’ll have to give them the benefit of the doubt now. Buick and Chevy both need one of these.

  • Glasfunk

    I don’t usually like this guy’s work, but this one looks awesome. And yeah I agree with @MarketAndChurch:disqus, I don’t think it’s going to be as nice as this. Sadly…

  • mavro

    Looks like an Hyundai

  • Six_Tymes

    That looks very good. Hello GM Do Not Change It at all. just slap a bow tie on it and bring it here ill buy one.

  • makes me wonder why they dropped the GSI after the 2004 model in the first place..

  • dinn

    Not bad idea. Hopefully it will be reasonable priced, too.

  • Six Thousand Times

    It’s projected to look more expensive and be a decent bit lighter. Sadly, I hear it was designed so the HiPer Strut front suspension can NOT be fitted. Also, it’s fairly certain that the rear suspension will again be a torsion beam setup. Compete with the Ford Focus ST/Golf GTI? No, probably not.

  • Oddbjørn Skripeland

    I have an 2012 Astra now
    This one is looking good
    Pretty sure it’s my next car

  • NoFear

    Nice render. I think, it’s very close to reality.

  • emjayay

    If it’s actually a new body, that means a new Verano, not along with the Verano. The Verano is a high end Astra sedan.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    im not expecting much from this new gen Astra since they just facelifted the Corsa and try to make us believe it’s a completely new one
    plus i’m getting tired of that front grill and headlamps, like give em a chill

  • Al Khan

    GM must bring the OPEL ASTRA as Buick. It will be a hot seller. Am sure I will buy one right away after almost 25 years when I had a Buick had used abroad which was then a very good American car.

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