AFTER WHETTING our collective appetites with the AWD Insignia OPC, word is circulating that Opel is preparing to launch a hi-po variant of the sharp-looking Astra hatch too.
The Astra OPC will be based on the upcoming three-door Astra GTC, which will flaunt a lower roofline and a much more steeply-raked windshield than its five-door stablemate.
Not only will it look sleeker, but aerodynamic drag is expected to be reduced dramatically as well.
The Astra five-door launches later this year, with the three-door arriving sometime in 2010 and the high-performance OPC variant appearing in late 2010 or early 2011.
It's far too early in the piece to speculate on the Astra OPC's powertrain, but don't be surprised if a turbocharged Ecotec inline four makes a reappearance under the Opel hot hatch's bonnet.
Given Holden already has plans to produce a Delta-platformed hatchback of its own, odds are low that we'll see the Astra coming to these shores.
However, with the Red Lion's performance arm HSV already bringing in the surprisingly rapid Astra VXR (above), there may be other avenues that Europe's most attractive hatch can use to break into this country's showrooms.