2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport impresses with new elegant design, technologies

Article by Christian A., on December 7, 2016

Nearly a decade after Opel and sister brand Vauxhall introduced the Insignia large family car, these companies are now getting ready to unveil the second generation of this offering from General Motors. The second generation Insignia – now dubbed as the Insignia Grand Sport -- boasts of a new design marked by elegant lines and best-in-class aerodynamics as underpinned by a new platform and loaded with new systems and technologies.

For now, Germany-based Opel and United Kingdom-exclusive Vauxhall have only released images of the new Insignia, and the second generation model is no less than awesome. Full details will likely be disclosed when the new Insignia Grand Sport is formally unveiled to the global public at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March. Some details, however, have been released together with the official images of the Insignia Grand Sport.

Derived from the 2013 Monza Concept, the new Insignia Grand Sport is as long as the first generation Insignia. However, thanks to a wheelbase that is 92 mm (3.6 inches) longer, the Insignia Grand Sport offers more legroom for those sitting in the rear cabin. However, the Insignia Grand Sport looks sleeker and more imposing than its predecessor, simply because its track has been widened by 11 mm (0.4 inches) and its roof has been lowered by 29 mm (1.1 inches).

Sporting shorter overhangs than its predecessors, the new Insignia Grand Sport boasts of best-in-class aerodynamics with a coefficient of drag value of just 0.26 Cd. Although the new Insignia Grand Sport is bigger than the previous generation, it is around 175 kilograms (385 lbs) lighter, thanks to its use of lightweight materials as well as its optimized packaging. In fact, the body of the new Insignia Grand Sport alone is 60 kg (132 lbs) lighter than the Insignia.

In terms of appearance, the new Insignia Grand Sport looks more elegant and more sophisticated both inside and out. On the exterior, the new Insignia Grand Sport is marked by a lower, wide yet stylish grille bordered by slim-line headlights employing IntelliLux LED matrix lighting technology. The rear end, meanwhile, features a double LED wing signature with the wide rear lamps and the third brake light using LED units. Inside, the new Insignia Grand Sport features leather on the upper part of the dashboard. This new large family car also comes with premium ergonomic front seats with massage, memory and ventilation functions as well optional heat rear seats. The new Insignia Grand Sport is optionally provided with heated windscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a head-up display.

Upon launch, the new Insignia Grand Sport could be availed with a wide range of turbocharged engines and transmissions like a very efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox with extended gear rations and smooth shifts. All-wheel-drive versions of the new Insignia Grand Sport are available. The 2017 Insignia Grand Sport is also known as the 2018 Buick Regal in the United States and the 2018 Holden Commodore in Australia.

Press Release

All in the Name: The all-new Opel Insignia Grand Sport

Make way for the Opel Insignia Grand Sport. The first look at the next generation of Opel’s flagship already shows why it deserves its new name. Following the successful first generation Insignia, the Car of the Year 2009 of which more than 900,000 have been sold already, the new Insignia Grand Sport is based on a completely new vehicle architecture. The wheelbase has been elongated by 92 mm, enabling a much more spacious interior that especially benefits the rear passengers. It also allowed the designers to give the new Insignia Grand Sport outstanding, new, athletic proportions and a true flagship presence: looking much longer and lower, it has the slim, lithe silhouette of a coupé and the bold road stance of upper class vehicles. This is combined with class-leading aerodynamics and a CD of just 0.26. Inside, the new Insignia Grand Sport also delights the driver with slim, embracing dashboard and a three centimeters lower seating position providing a much engaging and direct driving experience.

As a matter of fact, the new Insignia Grand Sport doesn’t just look more dynamic – it is more dynamic. Like for the Opel Astra, efficiency was key during the development of the new Insignia. Optimized packaging and the use of lightweight material have helped cut the weight by up to 175 kilograms, to the benefit of driving precision and agility. New, high-tech features such as the all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring – the most sophisticated system offered in the segment – or the new eight-speed automatic transmission allow drivers to exploit their strengths to the full.

Furthermore, the Insignia Grand Sport comes with a string of top technologies that make driving it safer, more relaxing and more comfortable than ever. Building on the highly acclaimed LED matrix adaptive lighting system of the Astra, Opel engineers have already developed the second generation IntelliLux LED® light for the Insignia: it is even faster, more precise and more powerful and its high beam now has a reach of up to 400 meters. Lane Keep Assist with automated steering correction, a new head-up display and the 360° camera along with comfort features such as the unique AGR-certified premium seats, front and rear seat heating right up to the heated windshield further enhance the new Insignia’s comfort. Outstanding infotainment and connectivity are obviously also on board thanks to the latest generation IntelliLink systems and the personal connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar, which, with the launch of the Insignia, will offer a new Personal Assistant service. But the new Insignia Grand Sport does not only care about the safety of its occupants: it is the first Opel with an active aluminum hood which, in case of a collision with a pedestrian, lifts in milliseconds to increase clearance with the hard engine parts, thus improving protection considerably.

“Opel once again lands a major coup with the new Insignia Grand Sport. Our new flagship takes all of the highly acclaimed virtues of its successful brother, the Astra, to a higher level. No other car in the Insignia class can boast as many ultra-modern technologies. We made it light, agile and fantastic to drive. And our designers gave it an exceptional combination of elegance and athleticism that even cars from upper classes and prices will envy. The new Insignia really reaches new heights. It is a Grand Sport in the best sense of the word,” said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

Pure Emotion: Design inspired by Monza Concept

It is not without reason that the much-admired Monza Concept was the inspiration behind the interior and exterior design of the new Insignia Grand Sport: the Monza model was standing in the design studio while designers were creating Opel’s new flagship. Their mission was to make the new Insignia look as upscale, slim and athletic as the concept car.

The result speaks for itself. The new Insignia Grand Sport looks as lithe as it has become light. Despite a marginal growth in length (4897 mm) compared to its predecessor, it has managed to shed around 60 kilograms of weight from its body in white alone. In total, the new generation weighs up to 175 kilograms less than the outgoing model. While the wheelbase of its completely new architecture has been enlarged by 92 millimeters, its front and rear overhangs have been sensibly reduced and its tracks widened by 11 millimeters. This gives the Insignia Grand Sport proportions that are more familiar to rear-wheel-drive cars the upper classes. A 29-millimeter lower, sweeping roofline adds to the Insignia’s design drama: it has the athletic and elegant silhouette of a coupé.

The prominent grille and the slim-line headlamps directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasizes the solid stance.

The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pull the car down and emphasize its stretched appearance. The “blade” light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Insignia Grand Sport is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.

At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.

“In its proportions as well as in each detail, we wanted the new Insignia Grand Sport to deliver an upscale quality feel,” said Mark Adams, Vice President Design Europe. “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. Every design feature conveys technical know-how and utmost precision. The new Insignia is an excellent value proposition with the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.”

The attention to the smallest detail is also tangible inside the vehicle. The cockpit clearly reflects Opel's design philosophy "sculptural artistry meets German precision". The instrument panel features subtly sculptured surfaces, a distinct driver orientation, and a wide horizontal layout. The overall design clearly reflects a feeling of efficiency, precision and spaciousness. Rear occupants greatly benefit from the new design and the reworked proportions. The extended wheelbase and a completely new package give them 32 millimeters more room at hip height, 25 millimeters more shoulder and knee room and 8 millimeters more headroom. Trunk volume of 490 to 1,450 liters is also quite impressive. The cockpit is fully aligned to the driver who sits three centimeters lower than previously and is therefore better integrated into the car, getting a sportier, more engaging and intense driving experience. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in an upper class car. Clean lines, sculptural surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft feel, premium material in all touch zones also contribute to a great feeling of wellness and elegance. The overall experience is intuitive and elegant in its simplicity.

Much attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the IntelliLink system exudes a sophisticated and technical character. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three functional zones of controls have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find the most essential functions.

Propulsion technologies that increase driving pleasure

The Insignia Grand Sport is as dynamic to drive as it looks like. It will be available with a wide range of latest generation turbocharged engines and transmissions when it is officially launched next year. The friction-optimized, highly efficient eight-speed automatic transmission is new to the line-up. It impresses with class-leading shifting comfort and will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive. The Insignia’s new intelligent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring is the most sophisticated in class. It is combined with an all-new, high-tech five-link rear suspension. Two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches in the all-wheel drive system replace the usual rear axle differential, providing a much more precise power transmission to each rear wheel individually, no matter whether the roads are graveled, wet, icy or snowy. When cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel, sensibly reducing understeering and enabling more precise control. The system reacts within a split-second when the accelerator is pressed ensuring that the car remains more stable and easier to steer in every situation.

The further improved FlexRide chassis provides the basis for optimal, situation-based driving behavior. It adapts the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’ which can be selected by the driver. Depending on the selected mode, steering and throttle response are more direct and the ESP anti-skid system intervenes earlier or later. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyzes the information provided by the sensors and settings and recognizes the individual driving style.

Safety first: Outstanding assistance systems

The new Insignia Grand Sport not only impresses with a state-of-the-art chassis technology but also with ultra-modern assistance and comfort features. No other model in the segment offers such a wide range of intelligent technologies as the new edition of the Opel flagship.

One of the highlights in every sense of the word is the (already) second generation of Opel’s innovative and award-winning adaptive IntelliLux LED® matrix light, enabled by new generation LED technology and further developments from Opel engineers. The high beam function now has 32 LED segments – twice as many as in the Astra – longitudinally integrated into the very slim headlamps of the Insignia. The increased number of LED segments enables the various light patterns to adapt to the prevailing traffic situation even more precisely and the transitions between the multiple lighting patterns are faster and more seamless. This results in an improvement of both the quality of light distribution, light intensity and reaction speed. To improve visibility even further while driving through curves on full high beam, Opel engineers added an innovative active curve lighting function to the new Insignia’s IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights. According to the steering angle, the light intensity provided by the LED segments lighting the inner of the curve rises to better illuminate the line to follow, while illumination of the exterior of the curve is dimmed down. Last but not least, a further, dedicated LED spotlight located within the low beam module provides additional illumination at full high-beam for up to 400 meters – a solution which is much more affordable than laser high beams and more relevant as well, as the spotlight can be activated and used much more often.

Additional driver assistance systems include:

the Head-up-Display: Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction is projected onto the windshield and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road.
the 360° camera, which consists of four individual cameras on each side of the car. It enables a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and thus facilitates every parking maneuver.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to the vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly.
Lane Keep Assist with automated steering correction and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid unintentionally drifting out of their lane.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects coming from up to 20 meters at 90 degrees from the left or right side behind the vehicle, a very useful function when reversing out of a parking spot with limited visibility.
Simply outstanding: Top-level comfort and infotainment

The Insignia Grand Sport also set standards in comfort. Opel is still one of the very few manufacturers to offer seats certified by “Aktion Gesunder Rücken” (Campaign for healthy backs), and surely the one who contributed most to their democratization. The premium ergonomic front seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of electric side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions in addition to the multiple standard adjustment possibilities. Passenger in the rear can also look forward to more comfort with the two outside seats being available with seat heating. Elsewhere, the heated windshield guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days. In addition, keyless “Open & Start” comes as standard on all trim levels and enables comfortable access to the vehicle.

Great entertainment and outstanding connectivity – both typical for Opel – are ensured by the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems. And while the smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it now can also be charged wirelessly without the use of a cable. Naturally, the groundbreaking connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar is also on board, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A new Personal Assistant service will be launched together with the Insignia, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors, for example, to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation. Furthermore, the 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot featured in the OnStar system allows all Insignia occupants to connect their devices to the net.

Opel’s new flagship will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017.

 

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