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 Vauxhall / Opel 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: Opel Astra (2021) als 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 Vauxhall 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 estate as well to respect Vauxhall’s long-roof tradition.
While three- and four-cylinder petrol 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 VXR / OPC 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 bhp and 450 Newton-metres (332 pound-feet) of torque. Provided the Astra VXR 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 VXR inherit the Grandland X Plug-In Hybrid’s hardware, it means it will utilise a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol 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 kilometres) of electric range, but the hatchback’s lower weight and better aerodynamics could unlock a few extra miles.
It’s unclear whether the VXR will be available from day one alongside the regular Astra, although logic tells us Vauxhall 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.