What's the news?
Opel has unveiled its all-new Insignia for 2017, which will now be known as the Insignia Grand Sport. The new name is reflected by many significant changes that will set this car apart from its predecessor. A total of 175kg has been shaved from the weight despite an increase size, so we expect it to perform well in terms of fuel economy and emissions - something the existing Insignia already excelled at.
The change of name to the Insignia Grand Sport represents the car's more athletic appearance. Its bodywork appears to be much tauter than before, with overall length remaining mostly the same. It is the roofline, now 29mm lower, and track at 11mm wider, that add to its more dynamic shape. The wheelbase has been stretched by a significant 92mm, thus reducing front and rear overhangs and adding to cabin space.
Look at the Insignia Grand Sport a little closer and other details emerge. The grille has a familiar shape to it but gets a more prominent design featuring chrome detailing on either side of the badge. New headlights play a bigger part in shaping the face of the Insignia Grand Sport, and like the recently launched Opel Mokka X include a 'double wing' design in the LED daytime running lamps.
Like its predecessor, Opel's new flagship saloon will feature distinctive surface treatments along the side, including something that Opel's Vice President of Design, Mark Adams, calls a "sweepspear" that runs through the doors to give it a more poised stance. At the rear, slimmer but wider tail lights wrap around and feature a similar 'double wing' light signature.
Inside, the new cabin has a familiar feel to it. Drivers will sit 3cm lower than in the current Insignia and the dashboard has been made more driver-centric. There is a cleaner look to the dashboard too, with fewer buttons, which is helped by larger infotainment screens - of up to eight inches. The latest IntelliLink infotainment system also links in with Opel's OnStar connected services. There will be a number of different trim levels available when the car goes on sale later next year, but, as these first images show, range-topping models will be offered with options like two-tone leather upholstery and piano black inserts.
The full range of engine options for the Insignia Grand Sport has yet to be revealed, but it is likely to feature versions of the company's 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesels and possibly the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. At this stage, it is not known if Opel will develop a more powerful version of the 1.0-litre petrol engine from the Astra for the Insignia.
Both automatic and manual transmissions will be available, as well as Opel's latest all-wheel drive system. This features two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches in the rear axle to give the Insignia Grand Sport all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. During cornering, this system can transmit additional torque to the outside rear wheel to improve traction.
In a bid to keep ahead of the competition, Opel will offer plenty of high-tech options in the Insignia Grand Sport. New IntelliLux LED matrix headlights will include 32 LED segments that can illuminate various patterns to adapt to multiple traffic situations. These lights give the driver greater levels of visibility at night as the system can now react to steering input to give improved illumination through bends. The high beam is also now more powerful, offering illumination up to 400 metres ahead.
Other safety-related systems will include a Head-up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Rear seat heating and a heated windscreen will also be offered along with premium ergonomic front seats that are certified by "Aktion Gesunder Rücken" (Campaign for Healthy Backs) in Germany.
We'll have to wait until the Geneva Motor Show in March before the Insignia Grand Sport makes its public debut, meaning it could be hitting Irish roads in time for the July 172 registration plate. A price increase is expected.