At the same moment when General Motors Europe’s Opel and Vauxhall lifted an embargo on publishing images of the next Insignia hatchback, the near identical car, which will be exported to Australia and New Zealand as the Holden Commodore, was also revealed.
All three brands will sell both a five-door hatchback which looks like a low-roof four-door coupé, as well as a wagon, though pictures of the latter have not been released to the media.
The liftback car is to be called Insignia Grand Sport (E2JO project code: Epsilon 2nd generation, J-Car programme, Opel), and the estate will be the Insignia Sports Tourer (E2JOW, where W is for Wagon). A replacement for the Country Tourer – a crossover estate – is also due to be sold as an Opel and a Vauxhall but the Holden is yet to be confirmed.
Cars for all three brands will be manufactured at Opel’s Rüesselsheim works. The same plant should build the next generation Buick Regal too. Like the Holden Commodore, this will have its own grille but be otherwise nearly identical to the Insignia Grand Sport. Meanwhile, a version of the Country Tourer is expected to be called Regal TourX giving Buick the chance to take on the Volvo V90 Cross Country.
The Insignia, which will have its public debut at the Geneva show in March, will be first off the line at Rüesselsheim only a few weeks later. Holden Commodores will then be shipped from Germany commencing in the fourth quarter of next year for a February 2018 launch in Australasia.
Opel told the media in October 2016 that the new Insignia will be 4,897mm long (+55mm), with a 2,829mm wheelbase (+92mm). The smallest petrol engine will be a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit and an eight-speed automatic transmission is to be available for certain engines, with GKN set to supply a four-wheel drive system. All engines will be turbocharged. In addition to the 1.5-litre petrol, there will be a 1.6-litre diesel as well as 2.0-litre units powered by each fuel.
Holden will offer the Commodore with that model’s first diesel engine. There will also be a 230kW & 370Nm petrol turbo V6 which will be linked to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The V6-engined but rarely bought Opel Insignia OPC and Vauxhall Insignia VXR variants might be replaced by cars with this same powertrain but this does seem unlikely.
Version for version, the new model will be up to 175kg lighter than today’s cars (Holden says 200kg compared to its larger Commodore). It is known that the bonnet, at least, will be aluminium and possibly certain other panels, while the body-in-white will weigh 60kg less than that of the current Insignia.