Opel Astra GSi
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Vauxhall Astra GSi
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Opel Astra GSi at the Nurburgring
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Opel Vauxhall Astra GSi hot hatch
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Opel Vauxhall Astra GSi prototype
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Opel Vauxhall Astra GSi
  • Image Credit: CarPix
Opel Vauxhall Astra GSi tailpipes
  • Image Credit: CarPix
The hot hatch battles are heating up – not just at the top of the heap, but also in the middle. And General Motors appears next to be getting in on the action (in Europe at least) with the prototype you see here.

Spied undergoing testing in Germany near the Nürburgring is what we believe will be the new Opel Astra GSi. Wait a second, you say...isn't the hot Astra called OPC or VXR? Yes, it is – depending on whether you're looking at the Opel version or the Vauxhall (or Holden), but that's neither here nor there. The point is that the OPC/VXR is GM's top hot hatch overseas, and is expected to heat up even further to take on the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS.

The GSi, then, would go after the GTI (210 hp) and Focus ST (252 hp) with around 250 horsepower or so. That'd also give GM's European operations a progression of hot hatches to take on its chief rivals, and give the OPC/VXR even more room to grow.

The last time the letters GSi were used on an Astra was with the 90's-era F-generation model, which was the flagship of its breed with a 2.0-liter 16-valve inline-four packing 151 horsepower. The new GSi is tipped to roll out some six months after the arrival of the next-generation Astra K. Shame we won't be getting them on these shores.

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