Opel Astra

Opel Astra

Time has grown short in our wait for the 2014 Geneva Auto Show to begin in the little Swiss city of Geneva. The main media festivities are set to take place March 4th and 5th with the show remaining in full swing throughout the week for the general public. There will be plenty of new cars debuting for the first time along with numerous cars with minor updates.

While the actual list is incredibly long, we’ve compiled a condensed version of the main vehicles on display that are either new or show a significant update over their outgoing counterpart. As the event rolls on, we’ll be bringing you the brand new information straight from the automakers regarding their latest models. Be sure to watch out for news on the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge ’s powertrain, Subaru’s plans with the Viziv 2 Concept , and if Volkswagen will bring their Golf GTE to the United States.

Click past the jump for all the info on the 2014 Geneva Auto Show

Extreme seems to be the most appropriate adjective for describing the new 2014 Opel Astra OPC EXTREME. Based on the euro-spec Astra OPC Cup , Opel has reworked this car with loads of carbon-fiber bits to cut nearly 200 pounds from its curb weight, upped the power output of the 2.0-liter I-4 to over 300 horses, and thrown in a full roll cage for good measure. And that’s only the start.

The OPC EXTREME is fully street-legal, but is geared more for the track with is ultra high-performance 245/35R19 tires, six-piston Brembo front brakes and aggressive aero package. And although it doesn’t help it go faster, the dark grey and silver paint scheme with yellow accents is one of this car’s most eye-catching upgrades.

Its all-aluminum engine displaces 2.0 liters, and comes fitted with a turbo, direct injection and variable valve timing. A six-speed manual transmission sends power through a limited-slip differential and out to the front wheels. Although Opel hasn’t released the official numbers yet, it says the engine is good for ‘over 300 horsepower.’ A carbon-fiber engine cover helps dress up the engine bay that itself is covered by a carbon-fiber hood.

Opel is set to officially debut the car at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in early March and will be gauging public opinion on whether the hatchback should move into production. We figure the public outcry will be tremendous, so don’t be surprised if/when Open makes that move. Sadly, and like any Opels these days, the U.S. won’t be seeing any on this side of the pond.

Click past the jump for all in known info on the Astra OPC EXTREME

Opel tuner extraordinaire, Irmscher, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and they’re taking to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show to show off their latest program for Opel’s sports hatch, the Astra GTC .

Considering that the model is touted as coming with a celebratory program, Irmscher is bringing a host of new modifications to the Astra GTC Sport, or as it likes to call this particular model, the Astra GTC Sport 45 Special Edition.

Irmscher’s customization was created with the objective of giving the sporty Astra GTC a performance upgrade while adding aesthetic touches to make the car more distinctive than most of its brethren. Thanks to an improved and tweaked 1.6-liter Turbo engine, Irmscher was able to improve the Astra GTC’s output to 200 horsepower, a noticeable bump from the 180-horsepower output of the standard model.

In addition, the model is also fitted with plenty of aesthetic and aero upgrades that clearly emphasize the aggressive work done by Irmscher on the Astra GTC. The radiator grille, for one, now comes with an Irmscher Carbon bar, replacing the somewhat bland chrome bar on the standard model. The integrated front spoiler and the 20-inch Evo Star alloy wheels play their roles in enhancing the car’s track width while also providing a more dramatic visual stance that exudes the kind of sporty aggressiveness Irmscher aims to accomplish.

From the rear, you’ll also notice the same intentions with the presence of a roof spoiler, a diffuser insert and the left and right ellipsoidal tailpipes. And don’t forget the “Sport 45″ signature, which was put in to remind everyone the special edition tag of this model.

Inside, there are more upgrades, highlighted by original Irmscher seats, as well as leather-trimmed door panels and center armrest with matching yellow stitching and aluminum pedals. Rounding out everything are floor mats with an Irmscher logo and that same "Sport 45" signature.

Only 45 units will be made so if you’re interested to get one, you had better get to it and let Irmscher know your intentions.

The last time Opel achieved success in motorsports was 2003 when the Astra V8 Coupe conquered the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race. Since then, Opel has kept a low key profile in racing. All that, though, is set to change when the new Astra OPC returns to racing.

The new Opel Astra OPC has been given some racing juices, and thus, the Astra OPC Cup was born. The future race car is set to compete in the 2013 season and has been built to fully comply with "VLN Endurance Championship" standards, considered as the most popular grass roots racing series in Europe.

In addition to competing in its own brand trophy class as part of the VLN Endurance Championship series, the Astra OPC Cup will also ply its wares in the race that its predecessor once conquered: the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

Full-spec details weren’t announced surrounding the Astra OPC Cup, but according to Dr. Thomas Sedran, Opel’s Deputy CEO, the race car being built plays into Opel’s new direction as a company. These new motorsports activities play an important role in the strategic re-alignment of the company; they are a fundamental element of our brand profile," Dr. Sedran said.

Earlier this year, Opel added a new sedan version to its Astra lineup and now it looks like Opel is working to update the other Astra versions. Until now, we’ve only seen spy images of the standard model, but today our spy photographers have also caught a facelifted GTC out for a testing session.

As you can see only the front has been camouflaged meaning the front end is the part that Opel will work the most. The camo indicates that the GTC will feature a much larger front grille and some revisions to the lower part of its bumper.

It is believed that the bigger grille and the bigger air intakes are there to feed additional air to a new twin-turbo diesel engine with an output of about 190 horsepower.

The back will be mostly unchanged, as the only covered parts we see is the Opel and GTC badges.

Expect to see the new Astra GTC launched sometime early in 2013.

Opel already features a very well-rounded lineup that ranges from compact hatchbacks to crossover SUVs. One area that Opel simply couldn’t keep pace was the premium convertible segment, as BMW , Mercedes , and Audi pretty much had that segment on lockdown. With its corporate eyes focused on expansion, Opel chose to release an all-new full-size convertible that can compete with the aforementioned premium lineups.

This Opel Cascada is the first of its kind in the storied automaker’s lineup since the 1930s and really digs deep into the automaker’s sporting roots by offering up competent performance matched with great drivability. The true test for this new convertible 2-door vehicle is how well it stacks up against its fellow European brands. Opel is claiming that the new Cascada will also pull at the hearts of prospective buyers, thanks to a lower-than-average entry-level price.

So, has Opel launched the perfect balance of full-size premium convertible with a wallet-friendly price, or has it simply stamped out a cheap Audi A5 ?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

Opel Cascada

The Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is getting a new competitor in the near future and these spy shots reveal more of the goodies ready to do battle. Our spy photographers were able to capture a few more images of the future Opel Astra Convertible as it strips down its camouflage and reveals its new soft top roof. This new roof replaces the folding hard top featured on the current Astra , which should bring down the price of the vehicle.

The soft top will pretty much be the only difference we’ll see when the new Astra debuts. The rest of the vehicle will remain largely unchanged, including the technology and the engine line-up. This means that the next Astra Convertible will feature a choice of eight different engines mated to a six speed transmission. The diesel options will range from 1.3 to 2.0 Liters producing anywhere from 95 HP up to 160 HP. The petrol engine will range from 1.4 to 1.6 Liters and will pump out anywhere from 100 HP to 180 HP. The suspension will be borrowed from the Astra GTC .

The new Opel Astra Convertible will be launched by the end of 2012, so stay tuned!

Opel Cascada

The upcoming Opel Astra Convertible was caught testing for the first time back in March when it endured the cold weather to get results. Now, it has been taken for a new round of testing, and the warmer weather has allowed the drivers to completely remove the fake roof it was sporting. Of course, that doesn’t tell us too much because the vehicle seen in these images is just a prototype and features none of the vast changes expected on the production model, such as the new frameless doors and a soft top roof that is non-existent at this point (right now Opel has an army tent to serve as the roof).

Under the hood, Opel will place the same engine line-up found in the sedan version: a choice of eight different engines mated to a six speed transmission. The suspension system will be borrowed from the GTC version.

The date for the next Astra Convertible’s official debut is still up in the air. Some say it will be in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and some say it will be in March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

Opel Astra Sedan

Inspired most likely by the huge success the Opel Insignia sedan is enjoying on the market, Opel is preparing a sedan version for the most successful model in their line-up: Astra . An official debut will be made later this year at the Paris Auto Show, but until then we have a series of new spy shots for you.

As usual the car comes only with the rear camouflaged, because this will be the only difference between the hatchback and the sedan. But even if Opel is trying to keep it a secret anyone knows that the new Astra sedan rear will be similar to the one found in the Insignia.

The engine line-up for the Astra sedan will be carried over from the hatchback, meaning a choice of eight different engines mated to a six speed transmission and with power ranging from a standard 95 Hp to 180 HP for the top versions.

A few weeks ago, our spy photographers were able to capture a series of spy shots for the upcoming Opel Astra sedan , but it seems as though Opel is also preparing a facelift version for their hatchback version. Proof of that is in this new set of images of a prototype of that hatchback version as it performs some necessary winter testing.

The front of the car is being hidden under the camouflage which means there will be a redesigned front bumper, although the headlamps look the same. The rear lights may also get some changes in its graphics, but this prototype seems to be carrying the current ones. LED technology will most likely be adopted for both headlamps and the tail-lamps, but there are no details indicating this at this point.

There are no details about the engine line-up, but it should remain unchanged: there will be eight different engines mated to a six speed transmission. The diesel options will range from 1.3 to 2.0 Liters producing anywhere from 95 HP up to 160 HP. The gas burners will displace from 1.4 to 1.6 Liters and will pump out anywhere from 100 HP to 180 HP.

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