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A “leaked document” (read: dubious rumor) claims that a coupe variant of the Opel Insignia sedan, may wear the famed Calibra badge. The previous Calibra was known for its slippery styling and turbocharged engines, and the Insignia would make a worthy successor.
Opel previewed an Insignia Coupe with their GTC Concept, which was powered by a 2.8L V6 with a twin-turbo setup, and this engine is currently used in the Insignia VXR good for 321 horsepower. A proposed coupe would be fitted with all-wheel drive, and have a shorter wheelbase to give the car sharper reflexes.
While Opel and Vauxhall cars aren’t sold Stateside, the car could make its easy over here as a Buick. The possibilities mulling in our heads, from a new Riviera to a Grand National successor, are definitely enticing, but we’ll wait for the real car to surface before we let our imagination run wild.
[Source: Auto Express]
Buick fans disappointed that the forthcoming Regal GS shares little in common with the European market Insignia OPC now have another reason to get mad, after Opel revealed that their hottest sedan is good for an astounding 168 mph when the speed governor is removed.
Naturally, Opel is going to try and squeeze another buck out of consumers by offering an “Unlimited” trim level, with no speed governor and a 6-speed manual gearbox, blue painted Brembo brake calipers and special instrumentation. Frankly, it’s absurd to have a family sedan that can hit near-supercar speeds, but we wouldn’t complain if Opel tossed us the keys.
The 325 horsepower, all-wheel drive sedan might not be a good fit for Buick in North America, but on the velocity-happy roads of Germany, we can forsee a number of happy customers.
General Motors European division Opel seems to be playing on the autobahn recently, because they have just unveiled a new version of the Insignia family car (sold as the Buick Regal here in America) called the OPC Unlimited.
While it retains the regular OPC model’s 325-hp engine, the “unlimited” package removes the speed limiter. So rather than being restrained at just 155-mph, the “unlimited” version will hit 168-mph. That makes it faster than some sportscars on the market.
With all this speed also comes higher levels of responsibility, and hence Opel has included driver training as part of the “unlimited” package. The program which will include instructors with real motorsports experience will be held at Opel’s Dudenhofen Proving Grounds.
The “unlimited” package is available with all body styles of the Insignia OPC, which includes the four-door notchback, the five-door hatchback, the sports tourer station wagon and the sedan. You can also choose between a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, however for the best performance numbers you have to pick the former.
This cars handling was tweaked at the famed Nurburgring race track, where its all-wheel drive system was perfected to provide maximum stability during high speed manoeuvres.
This model is available in Germany as of this month, with prices starting at $70,000. Will we be getting a Buick Regal version of the “unlimited” package? Very probably not.
These spy shots of a purported 2012 Buick Lacrosse GS struck us as a tad strange, but hey, GM did make a Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, so why not do another niche performance luxury vehicle?
The most obvious visual difference are the Opel Insignia OPC wheels, which make the Lacrosse’s dowdy sheetmetal look pretty mean. The rotors and calipers are supposedly larger than stock, giving us hope that this is the real deal and not a GM employee vehicle customized by someone with good taste.
No word on engine choices, but with the demise of the Cadillac SRX Turbo, maybe GM’s supply of 2.8L V6 twin turbo engines will head to Buick. We can only hope.
General Motors is hoping to expand their Opel nameplate beyond its traditional European markets to places like China, Australia, South America and other unspecified Asian countries.
GM is hoping to leverage Opel’s premium brand image to expand its lineups in places where the General lacks a foothold in that market segment. Chevrolet (and Holden) are the sole brands operated by GM in these areas, with the exception of China.
China poses a particular conundrum, since Buick enjoys enormous social cachet in the 1 billion strong country, where the pre-Communist Emperors drove Buicks exclusively. Many Buicks are also derived from Opel products, which may pose a problem for GM, which now must position two premium brands head to head with one another.
General Motors sold 4,000 Opels in China last year as a trial run, and the company is optimistic about the brand’s fortunes. “We will market Opel as a European designed car in the premium segment,” an Opel official told Deutsche Welle. “There are a growing number of Chinese who like European cars and have the money to afford them.”
[Source: Left Lane News]
Just a week after GM announced the return of the Buick Regal nameplate, reports suggest the General may be preparing to launch a high-powered GS trim level. All versions of the car would be based on the European Opel Insignia platform (shown above) but the GS trim model would get the LaCrosse’s 280-hp 3.6-liter V6, as well as Brembo brakes and 19-inch wheels. It will be offered in both front-drive and all-wheel drive and there is a strong possibility it will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
Two other trim levels will also be offered, with the base model using GM’s 180-hp direct-injection 2.4-liter EcoTec engine, while a more powerful turbocharged direct-injection 2.0-liter EcoTec engine will be offered.
Buick is expected to deliver the Regal as a 2011 model with production starting soon.
Buick is continuing to improve and expand its lineup of vehicles and build itself into a legitimate luxury car brand. The latest addition to the Buick lineup is a new mid-sized sedan with a familiar name: Regal.
The car will slot in under the new LaCrosse, which is priced from $27,085 and will be based on the European Opel Insignia. Currently such a vehicle is offered in China (pictured above) with a choice of two engines, a 164hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 211hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder. And considering its European heritage we should expect a solid vehicle with some decent handling characteristics too.
“The transformation of Buick began with our luxury crossover, the Buick Enclave and continued this year with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse premium sedan,” said Susan Docherty, Buick GMC General Manager. “We’re thrilled to announce that the Regal will be the next member of the Buick family.”
Buick has decided to bring back the Regal name as its one of Buick’s better known badges, despite the fact that the company hasn’t made a Regal vehicle (no pun intended) in six years.
Buick has yet to announce when the new Regal will arrive.
GALLERY: Chinese Market Buick Regal
General Motors is planning to bring over its Chinese market Buick Regal to North America as either a 2011 or 2012 model. The car is based on the Opel Insignia and is slated to be a more entry-level Buick, costing several thousand dollars less than the LaCrosse, which is priced at $27,085.
Originally, GM had planned to bring over a vehicle based on the Insignia as a Saturn model, but with the sale of Saturn to the Penske Automotive Group, the platform has now fallen to Buick.
Currently the Regal is on sale in China with a choice of two engines, a 164hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 211hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder.
The Regal is part of a new group of Buicks with edgier styling, much like that found on the 2010 LaCrosse. It is expected to fill a more entry-level position as Buick looks to move the LaCrosse higher up-market to fill the shoes of the Lucerne, which will be eliminated next year.
[Source: Automotive News via LeftLaneNews]