The Insignia, revealed Wednesday by Opel, gets a sleek new design punched up with LED lights and sweeping proportions meant to conjure a fastback silhouette. It will debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show and launch next year in Europe. Expect the Regal to go on sale in the middle of 2017 in the US.
The Opel-Buick relationship has been tight in the last decade, with the outgoing Regal earning strong praise for its German-tuned chassis and premium appearance. While Buick has been the recipient of much of Opel's work, the Insignia is now borrowing one of Buick's great names: Grand Sport.
Opel points to the Monza concept as the source of inspiration for the Insignia, though Buick will undoubtedly say the Avenir concept was the Regal's creative stimulus. Some think it looks like a Mazda. Mark Adams, vice president of GM Design Europe also oversees the automaker's global styling operations.
"Its design combines flowing lines and subtle surfaces with crisp, precise lines to even exaggerate its dramatic proportions: it looks longer, lower, and wider than it actually is, and it definitely looks upscale," he said in statement. Expect similar thoughts for the Regal.
Opel is also working on an Insignia wagon, which we've captured in spy photos before. We've also heard whispers that it will come to the US market with a Regal badge.
Opel's announcement previews many of the details we'll see in the new Regal. Based on a new chassis, the Insignia is 386 pounds lighter than the previous car. The wheelbase is 3.62 inches longer and the track is .43 inches wider. Opel tapered the front and rear overhangs, so there's only a slight gain in overall length. The interior has more room, Opel says, and features a touchscreen with GM's IntelliLink system. The car will also have several drive modes, which tailor the chassis, throttle response, and shifting dynamics. Other technologies includes a head-up display, 360-degree camera, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and cross-traffic alert.
The Insignia will offer an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with torque-vectoring. We expect both to come to the US market.
Meanwhile, another GM brand, Vauxhall, unveiled the Vauxhall Insignia for the British market. Same car from Opel, only right-hand drive. You get the idea.