Spotted testing in Germany (in European-spec Opel guise), this boldly camouflaged prototype gives clues as to what to expect from the Astra's reinvention. As previously reported, the front end will follow the new Mokka and Crossland in receiving Vauxhall's distinctive new Vizor design and slim headlights, while the rear end looks to be modelled on the new Corsa.
The sighting comes just days after we had our first look at an uncamouflaged prototype for the Peugeot 308, with which the Astra shares its EMP2 platform.
It hasn't yet been confirmed whether Vauxhall will follow Peugeot's lead in offering the family hatchback with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains, but the lightning bolt on the side of this prototype suggests electricity plays some part in its propulsion.
The front grille, however, has been left uncovered to allow air to pass through, suggesting that this is not the first indication of a fully electric Astra variant.
Although it’s unlikely that an electric version of the Astra will be offered, two plug-in hybrid variants (using the same petrol-electric powertrain as the Grandland X) are expected: a front-driven car and a more powerful (296bhp) four-wheel drive version. The latter is likely to wear a VXR badge as part of Vauxhall’s plan to electrify its sporting brand.
“What [the new Mokka] is to this segment, that car [the Astra] will be to its segment,” Opel chief designer Mark Adams told Autocar last year. “The boldness and the key elements [of the Mokka] will be coming through. We’re not going to take the same design and morph it into a different shape. We’ll take the same ingredients and develop it around them.”
Despite Vauxhall models sharing their underpinnings with cars from Peugeot, Citroën and DS, Adams claims that he’s able to give Vauxhall’s cars a distinctive look and feel of their own under the new management.