While VW Group’s Octavia, Golf, Leon compact trifecta has been thoroughly updated for 2020 along with the Renault Megane, other European rivals are lagging behind. Thankfully, 2021 will be the year when the all-new Peugeot 308 will be launched, and for the first time ever, it’s going to be mechanically related to the Opel / Vauxhall Astra.
The Astra will switch to the PSA Group’s EMP2 platform per an official announcement made back in June last year. A new report from Autocar claims to shed light on the five-door hatchback, which will once again be manufactured in Germany at home in Rüsselsheim. Opel’s Vice President of Design told the British publication the revamped Astra will be just as bold as the 2021 Mokka:
Gallery: 2021 Opel Astra rendering
"What [the new Mokka] is to this segment, that car [the Astra] will be to its segment. 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."
Much like the Opel Corsa looks nothing like the Peugeot 208, their bigger brothers will be visually differentiated inside and out despite sharing most of the innards. Autocar only talks about the hatchback, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed there will be a more practical wagon as well to respect Opel’s long-roof tradition.
While three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines will represent the bread and butter, two plug-in hybrid powertrains are expected. According to the same report, the more potent of the two PHEVs will be reserved for a range-topping Astra OPC / VXR with the system inherited from the Grandland X Plug-In Hybrid4.
If Autocar’s claim is correct, it means the hot hatch will have all-wheel drive and a combined output of 296 horsepower and 450 Newton-meters (332 pound-feet) of torque. Provided the Astra OPC will have an identical PHEV setup, it should be quicker than the crossover thanks to a lower weight. As a refresher, the electrified Grandland X does the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in 6.5 seconds and maxes out at 136 mph (219 km/h).
Should the Astra OPC inherit the Grandland X Plug-In Hybrid’s hardware, it means it will utilize a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine, dual electric motors, and possibly the same eight-speed automatic transmission. The crossover has a 13.2-kWh battery good for 31 miles (50 kilometers) of electric range, but the hatchback’s lower weight and better aerodynamics could unlock a few extra miles.
It’s unclear whether the OPC will be available from day one alongside the regular Astra, although logic tells us Opel will wait a bit before introducing the icing on the cake. Also from the PSA Group, we’re expecting an electrified 308 PSE to replace the GTi.