It’s been confirmed the next Opel Senator will be a crossover – as indeed it appears will everything else. Are we approaching a tipping point?
When GM showed the Avenir concept earlier this year, many viewed it as a sign Buick was serious about re-entering the full-sized luxury saloon market with something along more traditional lines. For enthusiasts here in Europe it prompted speculation as to the potential for a similarly proportioned model – a latter day Opel Senator if you will.
But while it’s possible such an idea was at least considered, it’s equally likely it wasn’t given a great deal of airtime. Especially given the recent announcement stating GM Europe is preparing three new crossover models over the next couple of years – one of which is set become Opel’s next Euro flagship.
According to Autocar‘s Hilton Holloway, the forthcoming top-line Opel crossover will sit on a stretched Insignia platform and is said to feature dramatic coupé-like styling from the Russelsheim studios of Mark Adams. In Holloway’s report, the Range Rover Evoque is mentioned as a possible design inspiration, which tends to suggest it will neither offer much in the way of convenience or practicality. To be built on the same production lines as the forthcoming Insignia; itself set to feature a swoopier, more rakish silhouette than the outgoing model, the prospect provides scant comfort to enthusiasts of large mainstream three volume saloons.
Autocar also reported last week on Jaguar’s forthcoming plans to launch a Tesla-rivalling EV, to be revealed in 2017. With styling inspired by the curvaceous CX-75 concept, it promises to be a stunner. Or at least would be apart from the fact that it too has been schemed as a crossover. Yes, another one. Like some aggressive organism consuming its host, the rush to crossover now looks increasingly like infiltrating and usurping every sector of the market.
A commonly proffered argument is that manufacturers’ sales projections for these models are so compelling that to do anything else would amount to commercial suicide; a reading of the runes recently endorsed by FCA’s Harald Wester, to name but one. But how sure are we of this? Is it even remotely possible that with everybody crunching similarly gleaned data through identical analytical models, manufacturers are simply getting the same result by default? Because as things stand, they’re not the only ones increasingly getting more of the same.