Holden’s next-generation Astra hatch, developed primarily by German cousin Opel, has been spied testing in Europe this week.
The current and ageing Astra range is already set to return to Australia next month in three-door GTC and hot VXR form, but this all-new model's precise positioning within the Holden line-up is unclear for now.
However, with April's re-launch marking a third go for the Astra in Australia - first as a Holden, then as an Opel and again in 2015 with the lion badge - there appears little doubt that Holden will be working to make it stick.
These latest shots offer the clearest look yet at the new Astra, and while light camouflage obscures the finer details, there is still much to see.
The new Astra will take on a more angular profile than the curvaceous current model, although a sweeping tapered roofline still dominates.
We can likely also expect the new Astra to appear again in five- and three-door hatch form, along with a wagon body.
Opel executives have also hinted at a premium shift for the Astra, suggesting we can expect unique styling elements to the exterior and a more upmarket feel in the cabin.
That could also hint at the new Astra’s position in Australia, debuting as a (slightly) more premium companion to the affordability-focused Cruze.
Built on GM's D2XX platform, which will also underpin the next-generation Cruze, the new Astra will be powered by a range of three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
Those mills will include GM’s new turbocharged Ecotec engines, developed to meet tightening emissions laws around the world.
The new modular engine family will include three- and four-cylinder units with displacements varying from 1.0 to 1.5 litres.
Developed for use in light, small and medium cars and crossovers, output in the new engines will range from 56 to 123kW and 95 to 250Nm of torque.
GM claims that its turbocharged 1.4 litre engine is 50 percent quieter and more refined than Volkswagen’s 1.4 litre engine.
Watch for more details in the coming months.