The new Buick Regal:
The Opel Insignia
Bitter because Saab was subject to this sort of badge engineering crap to the point where it watered down the character of the brand and identity of the company for so long.
Sweet because it won’t happen any more.
Opel have unveiled their hot-tomale version of the Insignia – the OPC – and it’s going to make you either hopping mad or quite hopeful for the future. If you look at it from the back it could also make you feel a little sick. You have been warned.
Pics and quotes from Carscoop, via VW Vortex
So why would it make you hopping mad?
Basically, this reads like the Turbo X drivetrain but with the sort of output we all wished we’d seen on the Turbo X
The top-grade Insignia comes with a specially modified version of GM’s 2.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces a satisfying 325HP that is channeled to all four wheels.
The first ever four-wheel drive Opel OPC model also benefits from a new electronically controlled, rear limited slip differential (eLSD) which can transfer up to 40% of torque to whichever (rear) wheel has more grip. This is the same system that is used on the Saab 9-3 Turbo X.
Four-wheel drive system and eLSD aside, Opel’s engineers have also fiddled around with the Insignia’s suspension system as well as with the brakes. Stopping power is now provided by a set of Brembo vented and cross drilled discs.
Twin-turbo or twin-scroll turbo? More information was required, so I clicked through to the GM Media site, where there’s no mention of a twin turbo on the brief press release. That makes me think Carscoop might have messed up just a little in the semantics.
So why might it make you hopeful for the future?
The Insignia is, of course, on the Epsilon II architecture. The Turbo X is on plain old Epsilon, which may go some way to explaining why it was limited to 280hp. It might have represented a sort of ceiling that GM/Saab were willing to dish up on Epsilon straight from the factory.
The good news here is that the 2010 Saab 9-5 will be on Epsilon II, and therefore much more capable than even the Turbo X.
If you feel yourself throw up a little inside your own mouth right now, that’s because your eyes have subconsciously registered the rear-end view, below…..
That is truly shocking. The side and front views are much more friendly to the eye.
I’m not a fan of the interior, either…..
The Insignia OPC puts out 325hp and 400Nm of torque, it’ll get to 100km/h in six seconds and the addition of XWD (though they don’t call it that) ensures that it should be difficult to get askew.
It’s interesting that Carscoop instantly pitch it against Audi’s S-Line and others. That should be Saab territory, but considering the looming separation I guess there’s no point in pretending that everyone’s still friends.
Being the kind of person I am, I’ll be hopping mad for a little while but really, when all that’s said and done, the specs on this car are what I’m really interested in. Their meaning for the Saab 9-5 will be known later this year.
I can’t wait!
Thanks to Taylor from LotusEnthusiast
The latest vehicle to come along on the new Epsilon midsize architecture has just been revealed prior to the Detroit Motor Show. It’s the Buick Lacrosse.
I’m not really keen on doing this, but people are going to be talking about the comparison anyway, so we may as well do it here.
The trap, of course, is that people will start thinking that the Saab 9-5 is going to follow directly within the footsteps of these two cars. I am NOT willing to accept that that’s a fait accompli. Yes, the Saab 9-5 will be built on this architecture. Yes, it’ll feature XWD just like the Lacrosse does (though they don’t use that name) and yes, it may even end up with one of the V6 engines.
But I am willing to hold out. I’ve heard from people who have seen it saying that the car looks awesome. That it’s going to be a killer. I know that they can take these basic architectures and apply much different driving characteristics to each model. I know that the 9-5 will be worth waiting for.
So with that said, here are the comparison photos of the Opel Insignia and Buick Lacrosse. There’s no doubt there’s more in common here than just the name of the architecture they were built on.
There’s some more notes at the end.
Click the photos to enlarge. Buick shots from Autoblog. Opel shots from GM.
Buick first, Opel second.
Front quarter view: