Next-generation Opel Astra OPC will likely feature an aggressive front fascia and a 2.0 liter turbo dialed up to around the 290 PS (213 kW / 286 bhp) mark.

Well, the 2011 testing season at the Nürburgring has now gotten underway and our spy photographers have spotted the 2012 Opel Astra OPC as one of the first cars on the track.

Though still heavily camouflaged, this 3-door Astra OPC prototype is showing its large Brembo brakes and dual exhaust pipes at each end of the rear bumper.

Last September Opel introduced an Astra OPC/VXR concept at the Paris auto show that was meant to preview this upcoming next-generation Astra GTC/OPC. That concept had a very stark-looking front fascia with LED daytimers and bulging rear wheel arches with 21-inch wheels all around.

The concept also came with an engine we expect to be very similar or identical to what will power the 2012 Astra OPC. That would be a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder unit with an output of 290 PS (213 kW / 286 bhp). Gearbox will be a six-speed manual transmission presiding over the transfer of power to the front axle with a limited slip differential.

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