Spotted testing with the least camouflage yet, this model is yet to be confirmed for sale in the U.S. although there have been reports that it, along with the recently revealed Astra GTC, could eventually make its way across the Atlantic and into Buick showrooms.
Likely to be called the Astra Cabrio when it goes on sale in Europe later this year, the new convertible is based on the same Delta II platform as the rest of the Astra range along with the locally-sold Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and Buick Verano.
However, the Astra Cabrio will feature a sophisticated front suspension borrowed from the 325-horsepower Insignia OPC, featuring Opel’s HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) as well as a Watt’s link rear axle--just like its Astra GTC sibling.
It will also get a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, but sadly a high-performance OPC model is unlikely to be produced. This means that the most powerful model is likely to feature a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.
Unlike the previous Astra TwinTop (the convertible version of the previous-generation Astra), the new model will forgo a complex folding hard-top design in favor of a conventional soft-top, helping to save weight and production costs. A four-seat layout will remain, however.
As mentioned, the Astra Cabrio will go on sale in Europe later this year and with any luck, assuming Opel escapes its current troubles, the car may reach U.S. showrooms before the end of 2013. Look out for an official world debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.