HERE IS General Motors’ next-generation global midsized family car, quite clearly in left-hand-drive German Opel Insignia guise.
It’s set for a European launch sometime in 2017.
Longer, sleeker, and a lot more angular than the pretty existing model that surfaced nearly eight years ago, this one’s a five-door liftback, backing insider whispers that there will be no four-door sedan version of the Insignia next time around.
Of course, being a German-led development, a Sports Tourer Estate (aka wagon) is also in the pipeline – and that may even have shades of Opel’s beautiful Monza Concept from the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Fingers crossed there…
Sharing GM’s E2XX transverse front and all-wheel drive platform with the China-focussed Buick LaCrosse and North American-market Chevrolet Malibu (not to be confused with the older version sold – unsuccessfully – in Australia as the Holden EP Malibu) the 2018 Insignia will be powered by a range of three and four-cylinder turbo engines, some in diesel and possibly hybrid set-ups.
US-branded versions of this architecture also take a 3.6-litre V6, so OPC/VXR AWD variants may also return. Eight-speed automatics are said to be the transmissions on offer, without a dual-clutch ‘box in sight.
Clearly evident in these pictures is a size upgrade, with the wheelbase extending by 100mm or so to greatly boost rear-seat legroom (to beyond Commodore levels?). Yet there’s also a circa-130kg weight drop expected, as per the related Opel Astra K small car (coming to your Holden dealer soon-ish), improving performance and efficiency across the range.
So what does all this mean for Holden? The existing flagship Insignia VXR AWD sports sedan was released mid last year to help plant the nameplate within Holden’s portfolio, so it is fairly safe to assume that at least some versions of the Opel will arrive as a Malibu replacement. Will do the same for Commodore when Australian manufacturing ceases altogether next year?
Holden, of course, has confirmed that it will keep the Commodore badge alive for some sort of imported model from 2018, so a likely scenario is that this next-gen Insignia may step in as the General’s volume-oriented answer to the Toyota Camry, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Passat, and Ford Mondeo, while something altogether sportier and more expensive (perhaps from the Chevy or Cadillac stable?) will satiate VF V8 and HSV buyers.
Watch this space!
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