2003 Opel Insignia ConceptEnlarge Photo
We’ve been reporting on GM’s European division Opel working on a new flagship for the past several years, and at one point there was a very good chance that the automaker was in fact doing just that. However, with the recent financial crisis and GM’s own viability in question, a new high-end flagship was the last thing Opel needed.
While Opel still looks to be treading on thin ice, it’s likely the brand will be kept in the GM fold for now. At the same time, GM is pushing its Chevrolet brand in Europe as its new volume marque, which means Opel, together with its Vauxhall cousin, is likely to be positioned more upmarket.
For that, it will need something a little bit more special than the mid-size Insignia and that is where this new flagship model would fit in.
Citing inside sources, Automotive News Europe is reporting that a new Opel flagship is being readied for launch in 2016 or early 2017.
The latest information ties in with previous reports that suggested the next-generation Buick LaCrosse and Enclave would be sold in Europe as Opels. Additionally, Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke told German media back in May that the marque’s next flagship would be a crossover style vehicle blending the benefits of a station wagon and SUV.
Prior to the introduction of the Insignia in 2008, Opel’s last range-topper, the Signum, was in fact a station wagon so perhaps a successor is now planned.
Pictured above is the 2003 Opel Insignia Concept, which is probably the best example of a station wagon with crossover elements and shows that Opel was interested in the bodystyle almost a decade ago.
[Automotive News Europe -- sub. req.]