Opel's Astra hasn't exactly gone down a storm here in the U.S. while wearing a Saturn badge, but the four-cylinder econocar lineup is pivotal stuff in Europe, and the next-generation model could still find its way to America – even if it doesn't wear a planetary badge.
Regardless of whether or not a stateside version is in the cards, the 2010 Astra seen here is massively important. Based on General Motors' Delta platform (whose basic architecture underpins the Chevrolet Cruze and forthcoming Volt), the sixth-generation Astra will take the fight to cars like Volkswagen's Golf and Ford's Focus powered by a range of four-cylinder engines. According to CarScoop, the Astra will be available with a normally aspirated 1.4-liter gasoline inline-four, but turbocharged variants will also be available, offering between 120- to 140 horsepower and 175 to 200 Nm of torque (129 – 148 pound-feet). More power will reportedly come in the form of a 180 hp 1.6-liter turbo motor. Naturally, being a European offering, a range of diesels will also be available, including 1.3-, 1.7- and 2.0 –liter variants. A particularly miserly ecoFLEX variant is also expected in 2010.
If CarScoop's sources are right, the five-door Astra will hit showrooms in the autumn, with a three-door GTC Coupe fastback to follow. A wagon, four-door sedan, and a retractable hardtop model are expected to fill out the range thereafter.
The 2010 Astra is expected to see its official debut at this fall's Frankfurt Motor Show, where we'll be sure to have our cameras primed and waiting.