► It's the new Vauxhall Astra bi-turbo
► A sub-VXR performance diesel?
► Spyshots capture 160bhp CDTi 'Whisper'
Vauxhall is readying a new Astra diesel warm hatch in preparation for a showdown with the new slew of pocket rockets heading to showrooms in the coming 18 months.
This is a sub-VXR mild performance version; a competitor to arch-rival Ford's ST diesel range, in the same way that it ducks beneath the full-fat RS brand.
Performance fans have never had it so good: the new Honda Civic Type R is arriving in 2015 at the same time as the next Ford Focus RS and VW Golf GTI R400. And Vauxhall/Opel wants a slice of the action: a full-blown VXR Astra is in development...
Vauxhall Astra bi-turbo diesel: what we know
Our spies captured the new Astra warm hatch at a roundabout near the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. It is powered by the company's new 1.6-litre 'Whisper' turbodiesel, and we understand it sports an extra turbocharger to boost power from 136bhp to nearer 160bhp.
Although this car is heavily camouflaged and missing the modest aero addenda possibly bound for a beefier warm hatch, you can clearly see an extra exhaust pipe as part of the cosmetic makeover.
There's not too much longer to wait to see the new Astra for real; expect the first pictures in June 2015.