2010 opel astra leak 007
The new Astra will make its world debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
A heavily camouflaged prototype of Opel’s next-generation Astra hatch was spotted racking up some laps at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit last fall, then we showed you a set of renderings that gave a good indication of what the final version could look like. Now, a series of official images of the next-gen Astra have surfaced on Internet forums, including this latest shot with the car’s head designer Marc van der Haegen and chief engineer Laszlo Kreth.
The new Astra is crucial for Opel as it will need to recover market share lost by the current model to Ford’s strong-selling Focus hatch as well as fend off the Fiesta compact. It may or may not see U.S. sale as a Saturn given that brand's uncertain future, but with Europe's love for hatches and the increasingly tight fuel and emissions standards - not to mention the taxes that go with them - the hatch will be key for Opel's sales at home.
The new Astra is expected to go on sale in Europe following its debut at this September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Opel will also launch a new two-mode hybrid version although it won’t arrive until the end of 2010. Opel's own brand difficulties, including a partial sell-off of GM's interest, could slow development down, however.
Apart from the hybrid, expect to see a similar powertrain lineup to the current model, which means a range of petrol engines developing between 75 and 240hp as well as a number of diesels with between 90 and 150hp.
The 2010 Astra will be based around GM’s Delta FWD compact platform and will once again be available in coupe, three and five-door hatchbacks and wagon, as well as a sedan in select markets. Since the Delta platform is shared with the Chevrolet Cruze, which will be built at GM’s Lordstown Ohio plant, there’s the possibility that the new Saturn Astra - or perhaps an Astra under one of GM's other brand banners - could also be manufactured in North America to keep costs low. There’s yet to be any official confirmation, however.