We examine Opel’s new upmarket offering.
“It would appear that emissions, efficiency and cost are driving the V6 over a cliff. I would not wager a whole lot of money that Opel will still offer a V6 when the Insignia is replaced.” We got that one right. Opel revealed the 2017 Insignia-replacement the other day and we find that “the engine range is made up exclusively of turbocharged four-cylinder units and is crowned by a 247bhp 2.0-litre engine”. (Autocar)
This is somewhat odd given Opel’s wish, repeated since 1976 to take on the premium brands. Further, since the Insignia GS will become the 2018 Buick Regal, there will be a V6 available for the same body. Even if the uptake was not more than 1o% for a V6 Insignia a case could be argued for the halo effect. Even if the premium peers have sixes on offer, most of the other brands don’t so that would be a reason to choose Opel over Ford and Toyota, if not Skoda. The four-door has been removed from the line-up. Again, odd. The Buick will be a saloon. The premium peers are all saloons. What gives?
On the plus side, the Insignia GS is a decent looking car, quite visually consistent though – initially at least – I think it’s less distinctive than the current car which I got wrong by disliking it at first. I will take a little while to react to this one.
You can read an interview with Opel’s chief designer, Mark Adams, here.
I misread the interview and now realise that, unusually, Adam’s does not say they wanted to make the car look more premium; he is not positioning the new car in relation to any demerits the predecessor might have (he designed that one too). He simply states “We want to create a vehicle that definitely has a premium aura, even if it is a value proposition. We wanted a car that would make people almost start to question their judgement in a way. If they can get a car that looks so good and offers so much value, why would you think about going up other than for reasons of brand snobbery?”
The message here is that Opel justifiably stands behind the 2008 car but has made measurable improvements on weight and rear-space. This makes a nice change where the designs says something like ‘the new car is much more mature than the last one which looked like a Playmobil toy’. It’ll be more revealing to see the car in the metal – Opel’s press photos are a touch on the airbrushed side to say much.