Arrival of new Astra marks next step in Opel's transformation

The next model introduction in the revival of Opel following decades of stagnation under the management of General Motors will be a new Astra compact hatchback, a previous generation of which was briefly sold in the United States as a Saturn.

The new Astra is set for a reveal later this year and Opel on Tuesday provided an early look in a series of teaser photos showing both a camouflaged prototype and some of the finer design details of the exterior and cabin. The teasers hint at a sharp design similar to what Opel introduced a year ago on its new Mokka subcompact crossover.

2022 Opel Astra

2022 Opel Astra

Opel is currently controlled by Stellantis, after PSA Group, which merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earlier this year to form Stellantis, snapped up the German brand from GM in 2017. Since then we’ve seen the aforementioned Mokka as well as a new generation of the Corsa subcompact hatchback launched. Sadly, there are no plans to bring any Opels to the U.S.

The new Astra is based on Stellantis’ EMP2 platform designed for front-wheel-drive compact and mid-size cars, and has been developed alongside the latest versions of the DS 4 and Peugeot 308 hatchbacks launched earlier in the year. Opel plans to offer the new Astra in hatch and wagon body styles, and will include high-tech goodies like a digital instrument cluster and matrix LED headlights.

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2022 Opel Astra

2022 Opel Astra

No powertrain specs have been announced but expect a series of inline-4 engines to be on offer, including one in a plug-in hybrid configuration. There isn’t likely to be a battery-electric option as this is not supported by the EMP2 platform.

Development work is taking place at multiple sites around the globe. Most recently, prototypes were tested at Opel’s Dudenhofen Test Center near Frankfurt, Germany, a process that included high-speed runs to test stability at Autobahn speeds and during emergency stops. Everything is checked so that nothing flutters, vibrates or causes irritating noises.

2022 Opel Astra prototype

2022 Opel Astra prototype

Another key test is for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). This is to ensure that none of the car’s electronic systems suffer from interference from outside electromagnetic forces, while at the same time not causing interference with other devices in the vicinity. This test is handled at a purpose-built EMC lab at Opel’s main development center in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

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Production of the new Astra will be handled at the plant in Rüsselsheim. The plant currently builds the Opel Insignia, which was previously sold here as the Buick Regal. Stellantis recently upgraded the plant to support production of EMP2-based vehicles like the upcoming Astra.

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