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GM-owned Opel teases 2016 Astra hatchback

Aimed right at the Golf, the next Astra will be smaller and lighter than the current model.

General Motors' Germany-based Opel division has shed valuable insight into what we can expect from the next Golf-fighting Astra hatchback.

Scheduled to debut this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the next Astra will ride on a brand new platform that will make it up to 440 pounds lighter and slightly smaller than the somewhat bloated model that is currently on sale. In spite of the reduced dimensions, Opel promises the Astra will offer a much more spacious cabin.

The next Astra will retain the current model's overall silhouette but it will feature updated front and rear fascias whose design will be inspired by recent members of the Opel lineup like the Adam city car and the Corsa. The compact will again be offered as a five- and a three-door hatchback, a four-door sedan and a family-friendly station wagon.

General Motors recently announced plans to extend the availability of OnStar beyond the United States. The new Astra will be one of the first cars in Europe to offer the technology when it goes on sale early next year.

German magazine Autobild reports the Astra will be available with a wide palette of three- and four-cylinder engines ranging from a 1.0-liter three-banger rated at 103 horsepower to a 1.6-liter four tuned to make 197 horsepower. A lone turbodiesel 1.6-liter mill will be offered with either 92, 136 or 167 horsepower.

Stay tuned, more details about the 2016 Opel Astra will emerge in the weeks leading up to the Frankfurt show. Like an overwhelming majority of Opel cars and crossovers, the Astra will wear a Vauxhall emblem in the United Kingdom.

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