We’ve been spying prototypes for Opel’s new Astra for several months, and now the German automaker has confirmed a debut at September’s 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show and revealed some of the car’s design insights. The new Astra represents the 11th generation of Opel compact cars, which date back to the pre-war Kadett I, and it will be the latest model to ride on General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] D2XX compact car platform that underpins the 2016 Chevrolet Volt as well as new versions of the Chevy Cruze and Buick Verano.
Opel is keeping the design of the new Astra under wraps but CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has confirmed that the engineers have managed to develop a smaller, lighter body while at the same time create a larger cabin. This will make the new Astra more agile than the model it replaces as well as much more fuel efficient and comfier. Weight savings are expected to be in excess of 220 pounds, which is very impressive for a compact car.
Further fuel economy gains will come from the application of GM’s next-generation Ecotec engines and transmissions. These engines are smaller than previous Ecotec designs but produce more power thanks to turbocharging and direct fuel injection. Another innovation for the new Astra will be GM’s OnStar, the first time the connected service is appearing on an Opel vehicle.
While GM has made Europe the only focus for Opel, a version of the new Astra will be sold in Australia under the Holden brand and in the U.K. under the Vauxhall brand. For more on the new Astra, hit this link to watch a spy video of a prototype testing in Spain.