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A heavily camouflaged prototype of Opel’s next-generation Astra hatch was recently spotted racking up some laps at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit, and these latest renderings give us a good indication of what the final version could look like. The new model is crucial for GM as it will need to recover market share lost by the current model to Ford’s strong-selling Focus hatch as well as fend off the upcoming Fiesta compact.

The new Astra is expected to go on sale in Europe following its debut at next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show and will eventually reach the U.S. one year later where it will be sold as a Saturn. Opel will also launch a new two-mode hybrid version although it won’t arrive until the end of 2010, which coincides with the U.S. launch of the Saturn version

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