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by Tim Beissmann

The 2013 Opel Astra GTC has been spied undergoing testing in Europe, with black plastic camouflage disguising a new front-end design for the updated compact coupe.

Our latest spy shots reveal the facelifted Opel Astra GTC three-door will feature a larger front grille similar to that of the mid-sized Insignia, as well as a redesigned lower grille and front side air intakes.

The larger openings are expected to pave the way for Opel to equip the GTC with the brand’s new twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine, which produces 143kW of power and a stonking 400Nm of torque.

The rest of the exterior looks set to carry over from the current model, which has been on sale in Europe in mid 2011 and launched in Australia in September 2012.

The upgraded GTC, expected to reach showrooms early in 2013, comes a few months after Opel refreshed the styling of the Astra five-door hatch and Sports Tourer wagon.

Opel Australia’s showroom currently includes the Astra, Astra GTC, Insignia and Corsa models. The GTC-based Opel Astra OPC hot-hatch will join the line-up in February 2013, with similar tuned-up OPC versions of the Corsa and Insignia also believed to be on the way in the near future.