NEXT OPEL ASTRA: The Opel's new Astra K will be launched in several body styles. Image: Automedia
BERLIN, Germany - Opel's next-generation Astra was spotted undergoing testing.
Due to its somewhat thinner camouflage, the hatchback prototype gives a god impression of what to expect from the next-generation (labelled generation K) Astra.
Being one of the automaker's most important models, the hatchback is in desperate need of a replacement, especially now that the French at Peugeot have built an award-winning 308.
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With the development of the Chevrolet Cruze also taking place in Europe at the moment, there's a belief that both these compacts are going to be based on the same D2XX car platform, which is also going into the Volt and Ampera. Proportionally, the new Astra looks more like the old one than any American sedan.
Following the trend set by the Mk7 Golf and Peugeot 308, most of the complicated technology will go into making the Astra light, by shaving weight from every major component. Opel could make its compact lighter by about 50-100kg, depending on the model.
Smaller engines, lighter suspension components and superior alloys and fabrication methods could all be used to make the Astra better.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 Opel Astra (Spy)
Just like the current Astra J, the K will come in several body styles, including this hatch, the Sports Tourer wagon, GTC coupe and the sedan. Power should come from a new SIDI Turbo family of three- and four-cylinder engines, some of which are already fitted to the Astra, Cascada, Insignia and Adam.
The Monza concept will likely influence the next generation Astra compact.
A keener, narrower set of headlights are fitted onto this prototype, topped off by a flat, dynamic hood. Every generation of Astra has been different to the one before, but since the J was well received, an evolutionary approach will probably be used for its successor's look.