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2016 Opel Astra TCR

2016 Opel Astra TCR

Having launched the new 2016 Opel Astra hatchback at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Opel announced plans to develop a new Astra-based race car for the TCR series, too. The motorsport-spec car was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, confirming the brand’s entry in next year’s competition.

If you’re not familiar with the TCR series, it’s a new touring car championship that debuted in 2015. Promoted as a cost-effective spin-off of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the TCR series is sanctioned by the FIA and based on a three-pillar concept that includes national and continental championships along with the global TCR International Series. All three tiers function under the same technical regulations.

Though it has already developed an Astra for the new series, Opel wants the improved aerodynamics and chassis of the redesigned model to form the basis of a more potent racer to compete against the successful TCR-spec Seat Leons and Volkswagen Golfs.

"Touring car racing has always been an important part of Opel. The philosophy of the new TCR series corresponds to our idea of customer racing. We want to give ambitious privately owned teams a platform for exciting sport at reasonable costs," said Opel Group CMO Tina Müller.

Updated 10/15/2015: Opel dropped the official details and images on its new Atra TCR racer. The model will be available starting February 2016 at a price of €95,000 (about $105,000 as of 10/15/2015).

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2017 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

2017 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

It’s true that the station wagon segment has experienced a decline in the wake of the booming popularity of crossovers. There aren’t that many wagons on the streets these days. But there are some brands that have resisted in participating in this exodus. One of them is Opel, which will be launching the new Astra Sports Tourer at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Based on the fifth-generation 2016 Opel Astra hatchback that, oddly enough, will also make its debut at Frankfurt 2015, the Astra Sports Tourer is the latest evolution of the Astra’s station wagon variant that sprung to life back in 1991, coinciding with the creation of the Astra hatchback. That kind of longevity may be surprising for a station wagon these days, but the Astra Sports Tourer is different, largely because Opel heavily relies on its enduring popularity and its reputation as one of the best wagons in the market today. Make no mistake, the Astra Sports Tourer is a hot ticket for Opel, accounting for about 30 percent of Astra sales throughout Europe. That figure includes all other variants, including the hatchback.

If everything goes according to Opel’s plan, the new Astra Sports Tourer will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and remain one of the go-to models in the wagon segment. Based on what’s been revealed about it, the German automaker has every reason to be confident.

Continue reading for my review of the Opel Astra Sports Tourer.

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2016 Opel Astra

2016 Opel Astra

The Opel Astra has been around since 1991 and has seen four generational shifts since then, with the most recent being for the 2016 model year. On the outside, the new Astra sports a much larger radiator grille with a smaller air dam underneath. The flics in the corner air inlets now feed downward from the bumper, giving the front end an almost mirrored effect compared to the last-gen model. The exterior lighting units are now more refined than before but keep the same general shape – as does the overall ambiance of the car. On the inside, the new Astra benefits from more space, a simplistic interior and plenty of new technology like OnStar, and an IntelliLink infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. With an all-new and lighter architecture, the new Astra also benefits from the latest engines like a 1.6-liter oil burner with 95 horsepower, a 1.0-liter with 105 horsepower, and a 1.4-liter with 145 horsepower.

Eventually, the Astra will make way for some performance-based variants in the future, but for now, it’s all about economy and comfort. Of course, competing against models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, comfort and economy will only get the car so far. Just about every car that’s worth paying attention in this niche has some kind of high-performance version, like the Focus RS or the Golf GTI, so Opel better keep its game tight if it wants to maintain decent traction in this segment.

The new Astra isn’t exactly a huge departure from the outgoing model. In all reality, it’s really more like a refined model that represents what the Astra should have always been. With that said, take a look at our full review and let us know what you think about it in the comments below.

Updated 09/22/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to find out.

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2014 Opel Astra OPC EXTREME

2014 Opel Astra OPC EXTREME

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

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2013 Opel Astra GTC Sport 45 Special Edition by Imscherer

2013 Opel Astra GTC Sport 45 Special Edition by Imscherer

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.

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2013 Opel Astra OPC Cup

2013 Opel Astra OPC Cup

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.

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2014 Opel Astra GTC

2014 Opel Astra GTC

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.

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2013 Opel Astra

2013 Opel Astra

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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2013 Opel Astra Sedan

2013 Opel Astra Sedan

Opel has just expanded its Astra line-up with the addition of a new sedan set to make its official debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The new version will go on sale next to the standard Astra hatchback, the GTC, and the OPC version.

The sedan version of the Astra is heavily inspired by its hatchback brother in terms of its design, until you get to the rear end. The rear is characterized by the steeply raked rear screen, the integrated deck spoiler, and the broad sweep of the sculpted bumper. The car measures 4,658 mm long, 1,814 mm wide, and 1,476 in height, and its trunk space offers a capacity of 460 liters, 90 liters more than the five-door model.

As for the engine line-up, customers can initially choose between seven engines: four gasoline units ranging from 100 HP to 180 HP and three diesel engines going from 95 HP to 130 HP. Opel is also offering a Start/Stop system for the 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX models that allows fuel consumption to go down to 3.7 liters per 100 kilometers.

UPDATE 06/06/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Opel Astra Sedan.

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2012 Opel Astra OPC

2012 Opel Astra OPC

The battle in the high-performance hatchback market is pretty intense. There’s the Volkswagen Golf R, the Mazda Mazdaspeed3, and Ford’s recently announced Focus ST heating up the playing field. Not one to let competition sweep them away, Opel has announced details on the OPC version of their most successful hatchback, the Astra.

Until now, the most powerful Astra was the GTC, but the introduction of the OPC has changed that. The new OPC will be distinguished by a sportier and more aggressive presence on the road, a more powerful engine, and a chassis designed to deliver power. The exterior will be distinguished by specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler, and a new exhaust system with two exhaust tail pipes in a trapezoidal shape. The interior is also the expression of the highest level of sportiness. In it, there are performance seats, a flat OPC sports leather steering wheel, and special instruments.

The Astra OPC is powered by a 2.0 liter direct injection turbo gasoline engine with an output of 280 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. It can hit a top speed of 155 mph - making it the fastest Astra ever. Next to a very powerful engine, the OPC will also be equipped with a front-wheel suspension, HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system, and a limited slip differential on the front axle. All of the tests done at the Nurburgring race track proved that the OPC is ready for any extreme driving.

UPDATE 11/04/2011: This review has been updated with official images and details.

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2012 Opel Astra GTC by Irmscher Sports

2012 Opel Astra GTC by Irmscher Sports

The countdown to the Frankfurt Motor Show is beginning to heat up with each passing day as more and more auto brands and tuning companies are coming out with their offerings for this year’s event.

The latest tuning firm to introduce their Frankfurt-bound project is German tuner, Irmscher. Having established a reputation as one of the best aftermarket companies for Opel vehicles, Irmscher will be bringing their new customization project for Opel’s resident hot hatch, the all-new 2012 Astra GTC.

To begin with, Irmscher’s new Astra GTC program features styling cues that include a new front apron, redesigned upper and lower grilles, new side sills, a large roof spoiler, a new rear diffuser, and a choice of several alloy wheels that measure up to 21". The car’s interior also gets a few minor improvements, including a fresh leather upholstery and aluminum trim and pedals.

Irmscher made sure to improve the Astra GTC’s handling by adding a new sport suspension that offers a lowered ride height of 30 mm. Then there’s the performance modifications, which are pretty much the meat and bones of the tuning firm’s program for the Astra GTC. Thanks to a Stage 1 performance kit on the car’s 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine and a new stainless-steel exhaust system with quad exhaust tips, Irmscher was able to spike the hot hatch’s output from 180 horsepower and 170 lb/ft of torque all the way up to 212 horsepower and 202 lb/ft of torque.

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2012 Opel Astra GTC

2012 Opel Astra GTC

It was onlt a year ago that we saw the Opel GTC Paris Concept car, but the company is ready with the production version, the Astra GTC. This model will be offered in both 3- and 5-door versions and will make its world debut in September at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The funny part about a debut in September is that full details, including pricing, technology, equipment, and powertrains for the vehicle, will be revealed on June 7th, around the same time Opel will begin taking orders for the car.

As of right now, the only details we have are that the production GTC will feature a 3-door body with dramatic proportions, yet will be capable of carrying five adults. It will feature the very best of Opel’s latest technology, as well as unique chassis features. No details have been revealed about the engine, but the concept featured a 2.0 liter Turbo with direct injection fitted with Start/Stop technology and a six-speed manual gearbox.

UPDATE 06/07/11: This review has been updated with full specs and details. Hit ’em up after the jump for the full scoop.

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2011 Opel Astra J Turbo by EDS Fahrzeugtechnik

2011 Opel Astra J Turbo by EDS Fahrzeugtechnik

Welcome to the tuning world, EDS! Unheralded, small-time, and maybe even a little known to a lot of us, the German tuning firm recently caught our attention for the work they did on turning an otherwise mundane Opel Astra into some piece of work.

Combining a powerful performance upgrade with a few aerodynamic touches, EDS’ tuned-up Opel Astra Turbo has become the personification of a lion trapped in a deer’s body.

Make no mistake, the Astra’s stock 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 180 horsepower is no slouch by every definition of the word. But when you add a comprehensive engine tune-up that includes a new Garret GT28 turbo-charger, a new sports exhaust system, a new manifold, and an ECU optimization, then you get a car that bumps up its overall output to an incredible 360 horsepower and 354 lb/ft of torque.

Not to be outdone by the attention being given to the modified engine under its bonnet, EDS also gave the Astra a number of aerodynamic upgrades, including new black grilles on the front, side sill, a new rear apron with a diffuser and quad tail pipes, and a set of 20” wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero - 235/35ZR20 in the front and 275/30ZR20 at the back – high-performance tires.

All told, the changes done by EDS on the Astra Turbo aren’t something that should be taken lightly, lest you happen to see one on your mirror and it proceeds to leave your car eating its dust.

For an upstart tuning firm from Germany, EDS certainly did their homework on the Astra Turbo, and the result certainly speaks for itself.

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2011 Opel GTC Paris

2011 Opel GTC Paris

Opel has released today the first details on the GTC Paris, a concept car that previews the future Astra GTC - Opel’s competitor for models like Volkswagen Scirocco or the future Hyundai Veloster.

The 4.46 meters concept was inspired by the Richard Bach’s famous novel, Jonathan Livingston Seagull "…and the speed was pure beauty." It’s design was inspired by the Insignia sedan and is defined by "maximizing tension by limiting the amount of lines:" intense, very slim eagle-eye shaped headlamps, a chrome emblem bar, a dramatic low trapezoidal grill. Of course elements like LED running lights / tail lights and rides on 21-inch rims won’t make it to production, but the concept its just pure beauty.

Under the hood Opel placed a four-cylinder, 2.0 liter Turbo with direct injection fitted with Start/Stop technology and a six-speed manual gearbox.

Opel’s Vice President of Design Mark Adams said: "We wanted to express the most emotional side of the Opel brand and we believe this vehicle creates an appropriate visual impact to reinforce our dynamic sporty character."

Updated 09/24/2010: Opel has unveiled today new images and two video of the GTC Paris, but also the concept’s specifications. The GTC Paris features a twin-scroll turbo-charged four-cylinder engine with direct injection - a range-topping 2.0-liter Turbo equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The engine delivers a total of 290 HP. Check the gallery to see all the new images.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

Opel has officially unveiled the new Astra Sports Tourer even though the public debut has been set the Paris Auto Show in September. The new model shares the same design DNA and Sports Tourer name as its larger counterpart the Insignia.

The new Astra Sports Tourer will be offered with a choice of eight gasoline and diesel engines, with power ranging from 95 hp to 180 hp. The engines can be combined with a six-speed manual gearbox or an automatic six-speed transmission. All variants will also be equipped with a manual transmission including a shift-up indicator that helps in improving the fuel economy.

The exterior design of the new Astra Sports Tourer brings a touch of athleticism and undeniable class to compact wagon looks. The tapered profile and the prominent side blade-shaped sculpted into the flanks of the body combine to give the Sports Tourer a powerful sense of forward movement. A muscular shoulder line leads gracefully into eye-catching, sculpted rear light units.

After its debut at the Paris Motor Show, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer will also be available with a Start/Stop function on the ecoFLEX 1.3 CDTI engine that develops 70 kW/95 hp.

The Opel Astra Sports Tourer will go on sale in November, but prices for this model have not yet been released. The Tourer will be released in direct competition with the Renault Clio Grand Tour and theAudi A3 Sportsback.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Opel Astra

2010 Opel Astra

After teasing their fans, the German Automaker Opel has just revealed official details about the new Astra, a vehicle that will make its world debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The car’s exterior is easily identifiable as an Opel, while the interior features the latest in technology.

The new Astra line-up will be full of options. There will be 8 different engine choices, all of which are shifted by six speed transmissions. The diesel options range from 1.3 to 2.0 Liters making anywhere from 95 HP up to 160 HP. While gas burners will displace from 1.4 to 1.6 Liters pumping out from 100 HP to 180 HP.

The new generation Astra is built on a whole new platform, featuring a longer wheelbase, wider track and a reengineered rear axle. Like the Insignia it comes with the fuel saving Opel FlexRide electronic aide that offers the driver the option to drive in Standard, Sport and Touring mode.

Press release after the jump.

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2008 Opel Corsa and Astra ecoFLEX

2008 Opel Corsa and Astra ecoFLEX

Opel revealed today two new models to its line-up: the ecoFlex version for the Corsa and Astra. With a CO2 emissions of just 109 (Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX) and 119 g/km (Astra 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX), the two models require just 4.1 and 4.5 liters of diesel, respectively, per 100 km (that is about 58 mpg for the Corsa and 52 mpg for the Astra).

While these figures are impressive, they still do not beat Volkswagen’s Bluemotion diesel technology. But for Opel this is a step in the right direction for the European car buyer. Also if high millage diesels gain traction in the U.S., Opel may end up sharing the technology with some of its other General Motors cousins.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Opel Astra

2010 Opel Astra

Opel will unveil the fourth generation Astra next year in March, most probably at the Geneva Motor Show. The car was already caught at testing, and is set to be sold all over the globe - it will be sold under the Opel, Vauxhall, Holden and Saturn logos.

With design inspired by the GTC Concept, the future Astra will feature a more "fresh" and aggressive look that will help it to easily compete with models like Volkswagen Golf VI and the new Ford Focus (European version).

Same front grille as in the newly-launched Insignia will also be used in the future Astra, but it will feature different headlights, easily inspired by the concept, in order to ensure the car’s individuality.

As rumors say, the 2010 Astra will be built on GM’s Delta global small-car platform, same that will be used for the future Saab 9-1. Under the hood the company will keep the same engine line-up: different headlights, but a hybrid version is also expected.

Opel will also work on a VXR version of the 2010 Astra. The vehicle is going to be powered by a new 1.8 liter engine capable to develop 240 hp. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in less than 6 seconds while the top speed will be somewhere around 155 mph.

The 2010 Astra will be offered as a three and five door hatchback, an estate version (Caravan), a convertible version (Twin Top) and also a three-doors GTC. All this will be available after the five-doors version will make its official debut.

The production of the 2010 Astra will be moved from the Antwerp plant, Belgium, to Swedish Saab unit, Trollhattan. Reason: better productivity and 25% less production costs.

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2007 Opel Astra OPC Nurburgring-Edition

2007 Opel Astra OPC Nurburgring-Edition

Opel unveiled at the Essen Motor Show, the Astra OPC Nurburgring-Edition, a limited edition that express the respect that Opel has for the ’most charming’ race track in the world. It will be limited to only 835 units and will go on sale early next year.

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