Opel and sister company Vauxhall have almost completed the development and testing of the new generation Astra. The compact hatchback will arrive in showrooms later this year, gunning for the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Renault Megane, and other models in the segment, including its French cousin, the new Peugeot 308.
During the testing phase, the Opel / Vauxhall Astra L was taken to the Swedish Lapland, in the frozen arctic, where chassis engineers were joined by HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) specialists to make sure that everything functions accordingly.
For the next leg, the prototypes were evaluated at the Dudenhofen Test Center in Germany. It was there that experts from ADAS (Automated Driver Assistance Systems) used the high speed oval to calibrate the driver assistance gear, fine-tuning the forward collision alert, rear-cross traffic safety assist, emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
The hood, windscreen and wipers were also evaluated for noises and vibrations, and the Dudenhofen climatic chamber allowed engineers to subject the new-gen Astra to sand and dust. Finally, they drove it through 25 cm (10 in) of water to make sure that the powertrain and electrical components are completely sealed.
Built around the EMP2 platform, shared with the new Peugeot 308, the 2021 Opel / Vauxhall Astra is understood to launch with gasoline and diesel power. Moreover, a plug-in hybrid assembly has just been confirmed by the automaker, who also said that it will feature heated steering wheel, and heated front and rear seats, though they will likely be optional.
Sitting at the top of the range, presumably, is the rumored hot hatch variant, which would inevitably become a rival for the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTE. The yet unconfirmed model is believed to feature a PHEV with roughly 300 HP and all-wheel drive, but we’ll take it with a grain of salt for the moment.