2016 Opel Astra Prototypes Spied Testing at the Nurburgring

German automaker Opel is secretly moving forward with development of the all-new Astra family of compact cars. The 5-door hatchback will be the first one to make its debut, probably a little more than a year from now. Our team of spies is closely watching the work of the engineers to see how they're progressing. It seems at least two slightly different prototypes are simultaneously being put through their paces around the famous Nurburgring track.
2015 Opel Astra K 1 photo
Mingling amongst Mercedes and BMW camouflaged cars, the two Astras make due with very small engines. We've listened very carefully to the sound of both their engines and believe one is powered by the new 1.0 SIDI Turbo with 115 PS, the other by one of the 1.6 diesels.

Opel doesn't want the Astra to be too expensive, so it's levels of tech will be normal. You'll be able to order it with a safety pack that includes things like blind spot monitoring, a reversing camera and lane keeping assistance. Connectivity will be much improved by the arrival of the latest generation touchscreen systems, "imported" from the Adam.

Of course, this isn't a back-to-basics German car, so new technology will be adopted. We have reason to believe a 7-speed DCG (short for Dual Clutch Gearbox that's been developed for the Cruze sedan will also be offered on the Astra in models with upwards of 140 horsepower.

Speaking of the Adam, that's where the inspiration for the design comes from. When it comes out in 2015, the new Astra should have large circular fog lights in the upper parts of the bumper, a funky-looking grille and pinched headlights.

Perhaps the most important element of the whole car though is its new platform, the so-called D2XX, co-developed with Buick and Chevrolet to reduce the weight of compact cars. The 5-door Opel will be lighter by around 80 kg (176 lbs), depending on the model.

We expect the new Astra to debut in the later part of 2015 or in early 2016. A sedan and estate model will follow soon after that and it's rumored Opel's German factories will even assemble one of them as a Buick for the US market.

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