The next-gen Opel Astra has returned in a fresh batch of spy shots taken somewhere in Germany.

The next-gen Opel Astra has returned in a fresh batch of spy shots taken somewhere in Germany.

Opel is getting ready for the seventh generation of the Astra which for the first time ever will be built exclusively outside Germany as the model will be assembled in Gliwice, Poland and Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK. While that may stray away a few Opel purists, the new hatchback should entice potential buyers with a considerable diet of up to 100 kg (220 lbs), exactly what the doctor recommends since the current Astra is a bit too heavy.

Besides being lighter, the 2016 Astra is expected to grow in length a little bit so it should offer more room, especially for rear passengers. The hatchback will be followed by the usual wagon, coupe and sedan derivatives along with the hotter OPC version. Design will likely be evolutionary with a Monza-inspired front fascia, door-mounted side mirrors, bigger roof-mounted spoiler and a prominent tailgate.

Sales of the new Astra will likely kick off towards the end of 2015 or early 2016, following a probable public reveal at next year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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Next generation Opel Astra spied testing in Germany