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Old 08-10-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default 2012 Opel Insignia revealed ahead of Australian launch

The 2012 Opel Insignia update has been revealed ahead of its introduction to Australia next year.

This is expected to be the last update before the Opel Insignia goes on sale in Australia, meaning we now have our first look at how the vehicle will appear when it arrives in local showrooms.

Exterior upgrades have been kept to an absolute minimum, with new alloy wheel designs and a new paint colour expected to be the only changes to the 2012 Insignia line-up.

The real upgrades have taken place under the bonnet and on the technology front.

The 2012 Opel Insignia will be available in selected markets with a 1.4-litre turbocharged ecoFLEX petrol engine. Producing 103kW and 200Nm of torque, the engine is teamed with a six-speed manual transmission, start/stop technology, electric power steering, and aerodynamic enhancements including streamlined underbody panels and low rolling resistance tyres.

In sedan mode it sips fuel at a rate of just 5.7 litres/100km on the combined cycle, while the Sports Tourer wagon model averages 5.9 litres/100km. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes 10.9 seconds.

Although the 1.4 ecoFLEX model is likely to be reserved for European markets, Australian customers may have a better chance of getting their hands on the 2012 Insignia 2.0 Turbo 4×4 model.

Previously producing 162kW/350Nm, the 2.0 now puts out 185kW of power and 400Nm, leading to a 0-100km/h sprint time as low as 7.5 seconds. Despite the power increases, combined cycle fuel consumption has decreased from 8.9 litres/100km to 8.4 litres/100km, thanks to the introduction of start/stop and low rolling resistance tyres.

Opel has applied the same efficiency upgrades to the 2012 model year front-wheel drive 162kW 2.0 Turbo model. Fuel consumption has been reduced to 7.6 litres/100km, down from 8.1 litres/100km.

Inside, Opel has fitted the 2012 Insignia with an SD card-based infotainment system. The satellite navigation now allows drivers to save points of interest and find the most economical route for their trip.

The front camera – already fitted to the Insignia for traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning – now has the added feature of Following Distance Indication, which measures the distance to the car in front and helps drivers avoid rear-end collisions with visual and audible warnings.
GM Holden, currently responsible for Opel Australia communications, is yet to confirm specific details about our 2012 Opel Insignia. Expect more details to surface closer to its launch.

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Old 08-10-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Default Opel to become upmarket brand in Europe, Chevrolet for entry-level

In a recent analysis presentation in the US, a range of General Motors executives, including GM CEO Dan Akerson and Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick, discussed plans to turn Opel into an upmarket brand in Europe, and reintroduce Chevrolet as an entry-level brand.

The GM executives said the company needed to separate each of its brands by giving each one a distinct identity. One of the first brand images on the development list is Opel. The executives said it would be the ideal brand to take on an upmarket position, and, more importantly, provide more compelling competition to Volkswagen.
Since Opel already has perhaps the best foundations for a prestigious image to be developed upon, it has been earmarked as the clear choice. Ewanick was quoted as saying in a recent Automotive News report,
“Opel, because of its heritage and because its a German brand, will be a very viable option for customers looking for a car in Germany, and gets us an opportunity to combat our Volkswagen competitor on their home turf.”
In order to do this, CEO Dan Akerson says the brand needs to grow first. So far this year, Opel and Vauxhall – both owned by GM – sales have risen just two per cent. He says the brand needs added growth in order to fulfil the upmarket segment.
“Where we lost most of our market share in the five years leading up to the bankruptcy is in Germany, so we need to revitalise that brand. We’ve done it with Buick in North America. We need to grow market share with Opel by only a couple of percent because I believe we’re on the cusp.”
On the back of this, the presentation discussed plans for Chevrolet, which was introduced in Europe in 2005. The brand hasn’t done too well since then, and currently makes up 2.5 per cent of the market. Akerson said one logical thing GM could do was “start manufacturing Chevrolets in Europe at some point in time. That’s on our strategic to-do list”.
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