The upcoming Astra VXR hot hatches may ditch the current 2-liter turbo engine for a smaller unit, claims a new report.

According to new Astra chief engineer Marc Schmidt, a 1.6-liter engine is “at this point the ceiling on the sports car assignment,” which may be a more complicated way of saying that the current 2.0-liter engine in the Astra VXR will be replaced by a smaller 1.6-liter unit.

Schmidt told Australian media that a 1.6-liter is “the biggest engine that we would be capable of packaging” in the new Astra’s smaller engine bay. But while a 1.6-liter turbo petrol engine may be the prime candidate for the upcoming Astra VXR, Schmidt said the rules could change for a “really special” project.

“You can always do something really special for something really special, but this time the something special would have to really bind itself into the architecture so that the basic efficiency is not compromised from the get-go, so it’s a slightly different philosophy,” the executive told Car Advice.

Switching to a 1.6-liter unit may pose a problem for Vauxhall’s engineers, who would have to extract more power and torque from a smaller engine than the current 2.0-liter unit rated at 276hp and 295lb-ft. However, since the new Astra is lighter than the previous generation, it should have a better power-to-weight ratio.

Besides the Astra VXR, Schmidt said they are currently analyzing the possibility to build a Focus RS rival.

Note: Astra rendering courtesy of Virtuel Car



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