Some would argue that the Volkswagen Golf has dominated European sales for too long and must be dethroned. At first glance, the all-new Peugeot 308 seems like a serious threat to Wolfsburg’s all-conquering compact sedan, perhaps more than ever. He will not be alone in his fight against VAG’s cash cow because his German ally is not far behind.
Mated to the third-generation 308, the revamped Opel Astra will premiere later this year. It has already been spotted several times as a fully disguised prototype, and our spies have now sent us new footage of a different test vehicle. It still appears to be of the plug-in hybrid variety, but the wheels are a bit smaller and have dropped the camouflage.
While the new images aren’t more representative of the exterior design compared to previous spy shots, it’s a good reminder that the Astra will be more than just a case of a rebadged 308. the small Peugeot 208 from the Opel Corsa mechanically linked, and it will be a similar story with the compact models.
Unlike the outgoing Astra K, its replacement will return to the factory in Rüsselsheim, Germany. Using the same EMP2 underpinnings as the 308, we would expect an almost identical mix of gasoline and diesel engines, as well as a few plug-in hybrids. In the lesser PHEV configuration, the Peugeot offers a combined output of 180 hp while the more robust variant produces 225 hp. The two share a front-wheel drive layout, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 12.4 kWh battery providing 60 kilometers of WLTP-certified range.
Peugeot recently confirmed that a fully electric 308 is intended for a 2023 version to fight the VW ID.3, but it’s premature to say whether its brother Astra will also lose the combustion engine later in its life cycle. Meanwhile, a hot OPC would be in the works as a performance hybrid with 300 horsepower, 450 Newton-meters (332 pound-feet) and all-wheel drive in the configuration used by the Grandland X Hybrid4.
Logic tells us that Opel will present the new Astra on its territory in September at the IAA show, but not in Frankfurt as the event has moved to Munich. An online premiere could take place a few days or weeks earlier.