On the same day that GM's European arm confirmed that next-generation Opel Astra will debut in September, our spy photographers snapped photos of the hot hatch version undergoing testing.
In a video with previous generations of the Kadett and Astra in the background, Karl-Thomas Neumann, CEO of Opel, confirmed that he would take the covers off the next-gen Astra at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show in September.
Neumann says that the next Astra "will be a completely new car". The engineering team behind the new Astra has reportedly concentrated on one key goal: efficiency.
According to Neumann, the new car will be "smaller outside, but bigger and [significantly] roomier inside". In addition to this, the Astra will be "significantly lighter" and "powered by state of the art engines of the newest generation, and only state of the art engines".
The new Astra will also, at least in Europe, be offered with GM's OnStar remote assistance and security subscription service.
By 2020, Holden plans to launch 24 new models in Australia in an attempt to recapture its long-lost sales crown. As such, it's widely expected that the pedestrian and hot versions of the new Astra will be sold locally with lion badges attached.
The prototype vehicle pictured here is believed to be a hot hatch version that will sit underneath the next-generation Astra OPC — known in Australia and the UK as the VXR.
Our sources indicate that this hatch will be badged as the GSi, at least in Opel markets, and will feature a turbocharged engine churning out around 185kW of power. The GSi is expected to debut around half a year after the regular Astra range is launched.
Compared to the more pedestrian versions of the new Astra, the GSi, or whatever it will be called, features two large exhaust tips, bigger alloys and lower profile rubber.
Given that this development vehicle is sporting more camouflage at the front and rear than other recently spotted Astra prototypes, the GSi hatch should also feature redesigned bumpers.