Could there be a new PSA-sourced engine under the hood?

The Opel Astra, sold in the United Kingdom with a Vauxhall badge, is one of the most popular cars in Europe’s compact car segment, where the Volkswagen Golf is still the dominant leader with more than 482,000 deliveries last year, according to data from CarSalesBase.com. The Astra is third, but its sales are actually going down by 14 percent compared to 2016, and Opel is quick to react to this trend by preparing a facelift.

Fresh spy shots have arrived:

Seen in the attached images here is a test prototype of the refreshed Astra, which is wearing a fake plastic panel to hide its front end. Obviously, this is where most of the visual changes will be focused, and we expect to see a more pronounced radiator grille and possibly a new shape for the bumper. Interestingly, nothing is hidden at the back, but this is likely an early stage trial vehicle and a lot could change in the coming months.

Opel Astra facelift spy photo
Opel Astra facelift spy photo

Given Opel’s French ownership, we won’t be too surprised if way bigger changes are planned for the engine compartment. Simply put, a couple of PSA-sourced turbo gasoline and diesel engines could be introduced with the facelift, but, of course, we can’t confirm that at the moment. After all, PSA might decide to wait until the next generation Astra arrives to install its own engines and replace the GM units.

Opel is also expected to bring a sportier version of the Astra with a number of mechanical upgrades. Naturally, a more powerful engine is expected to find a place under the hood and reports suggest there are two options – a 1.6-liter turbo gas motor with roughly 230 hp (171 kW) or a 2.0-liter biturbo diesel with 210 hp (154 kW). Both seem to be quite suitable for the sporty hatch, but we bet our money on the 1.6 turbo.

Photos: CarPix

Gallery: Opel Astra facelift spy photos