As you can see in our high-res photo gallery of Astra spy shots, by the steering wheel on the right, this is Opel’s version – a mirror image of Saturn’s Astra, if the current relationship from European versions to American versions holds. The new car was spotted undergoing cold-weather testing in northern Finland this weekend, and we expect it to arrive at next year's Geneva motor show in time for a 2010 model year launch.
Despite the car’s irritating disguising, the new profile, the front fascia and the massive rear bumper with the parted taillights are still visible. While we can’t say anything to the shape of the three-door model yet, it seems to be clear the five-door version will again get the current model’s sloping roofline plus the trapezoidal-shaped C-pillar. From what we can see, the new car looks somewhat sleeker and yet more elegant.
Besides the five-door model pictured here, Opel has a wagon (“Caravan”), a convertible (“Twin Top”) and the three-door (“GTC”) in the pipeline, all following the five-door.
The engine range will be similar to that used in today’s cars (75- to 240-hp gas engines, and 90- to 150-hp diesels), but we do expect greener engines to arrive shortly after the car’s introduction in about one year.--Brenda Priddy & Company