A facelift is nice and all, but we'd rather have an OPC version.
The Astra K came out about three years ago and with life cycles getting shorter and shorter, it comes as no surprise Opel is already working on a midlife refresh for its compact five-door hatchback. A former Car of the Year winner, the VW Golf rival from Rüsselsheim has traveled to Spain where a barely disguised prototype was caught on camera by our spies.
It only had camouflage on the front fascia where the bumper’s design remained mostly hidden underneath a thick piece of plastic. We can also observe another additional disguise item on the front grille, but even so it’s easy to notice the pattern has changed as the Astra K facelift will have a honeycomb layout. For some reason, Opel decided to mask the sharp lightning badge at the back.
With the launch of the Insignia GSi and the revealing of the Corsa GSi, we’re now patiently waiting for Opel to slap the “GSi” badge on the Astra as well with the model’s forthcoming refresh. Expect to see the mildly updated model in 2019 when there’s a good chance the regular versions of the model will borrow some engines from Opel’s new parent company PSA.
As for the return of the OPC nameplate, Opel has said it has plans to bring it back sooner or later, but it’s too early to say whether the Astra will be getting the performance-oriented treatment. At least we can take comfort from knowing a GSi version is in the pipeline and this prototype might have been it judging by the dual exhaust tips at the back.
Don’t expect more power from the highly anticipated Astra GSi since the other two GSi-badged models we’ve mentioned don’t pack more punch than the lesser versions. In other words, the hotter hatch will likely feature 200 hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, along with some hardware upgrades such as a stiffer suspension setup and a tweaked chassis.