View Full Version : Opel Launch Flagship Model Above Current Range

05-20-2005, 08:10 AM
From Today's Automotive News:<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">OPEL WILL ADD HIGH-END MODEL; NEW FLAGSHIP FOR GM'S GERMAN BRAND DUE BEFORE 2010<p>Opel will add a high-end car that will be positioned at the top of its current lineup but below models from General Motors siblings Saab and Cadillac.<p>The new car will be launched before 2010, Carl-Peter Forster, GM Europe's president, told the Automotive News Europe Congress here.<p>GM Europe sources say the car likely will be a crossover or "multi-activity vehicle." They weren't more specific about what that means. Most crossovers being built by automakers combine characteristics of a minivan, SUV and station wagon.<p>Today, the upper-medium Signum station wagon is Opel's most exclusive model.<p>The Signum is a high-end version of the Vectra wagon with a higher roof line than the Vectra plus special interior features such as a small refrigerator.<p>The new model may have a premium version that features all-wheel drive, while less-expensive variants will come with front-wheel drive.<p>GM Europe's German subsidiary has been discussing its strategy for a new flagship model since 2003 when it retired its previous top-of-the-line model, the Omega. Opel showed the Insignia concept at the 2003 IAA in Frankfurt. But the project has since been quietly abandoned, although GM executives say that the next top-of-the-line Opel will include some elements from the Insignia. They would not be more specific.<p>Opel has traditionally had a strong presence and a good reputation in the upper ranges of the volume segment. GM Europe believes a new flagship model will help increase earnings, boost Opel's image and ease the transition for some Opel owners to Saabs and Cadillacs.<p>Opel's next top model will be based on GM's next-generation Epsilon architecture, for which GM Europe has the global r&d responsibility.<p>Shared architecture<p>Epsilon also will be used for the next-generation Saab 9-3 and the next Opel Vectra upper-medium car. Both are planned for 2008-2009. If the soon-to-be-released entry-level Cadillac BLS is successful, that car's replacement also will use the new Epsilon architecture.<p>Epsilon will continue to feature transverse -- or east-west -- engine installation, and fwd or awd. "We will concentrate on east-west engine configurations in Europe," Forster said.<p>During the Congress, Forster also said that Opel will launch a two-seat roadster in Europe in 2006. The car will be a version of the Sky from GM's US-only Saturn brand. The rear-wheel-drive roadster will be built in Wilmington, Delaware.<p>The concept version of the Sky was designed by GM Europe's UK studio, under Simon Cox, and developed as a production car for Saturn and Opel/Vauxhall with much styling input from GM Europe's studio in Rsselsheim, Germany.<p>It is based on GM's Kappa rwd architecture.</TD></TR></TABLE>

05-26-2005, 05:34 AM
No doubt this premium Opel could also produce a new Saab 9-5. And with 9-5 production moving to an Opel plant in Germany....