One of the last cars developed by Opel under General Motors’ tutelage, the second-generation Insignia is now in production at the Rüsselsheim factory in Germany. In order to set up everything for the midsize model’s arrival in both sedan and wagon body styles, more than €500 million (about $540M) had to be invested in retooling the assembly plant.

The very first 2017 Insignia to roll off the production line was a white Grand Sport equipped with a turbodiesel 2.0-liter engine developing 170 horsepower. There’s a lot riding on the new model taking into account it has to live up to the success of its predecessor, which was sold in no less than 940,000 units and is now Opel’s fourth best-selling model of all time. Not only that, but the first Insignia was crowned the 2009 European Car of the Year.

2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva
2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva
2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva
2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva
2017 Opel Insignia live in Geneva

We believe it has what it takes to repeat the success of the model before it and perhaps even surpass it. The design has been significantly improved on the outside and the quality of the roomier interior has gone up a notch as well. That being said, we had hoped for a bigger differentiation between the Astra and Insignia in terms of the cabin.

Up to 200 kilograms (441 pounds) lighter than the first Insignia, the all-new model has been available on order since a little over a month ago. Right now you can buy the regular Grand Sport and the more practical Sports Tourer wagon version, with the rugged Country Tourer likely to follow in the second half of the year considering it has already been spotted with minimal camouflage. Further down the line, the performance-oriented OPC will arrive to sit on top of the range.

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Meanwhile, the Insignia Grand Sport and Sports Tourer will begin to hit dealer showrooms this summer. In its domestic market, pricing for the sedan kicks off at €25,590, thus making it €1,160 more affordable than one of its main rivals, the Volkswagen Passat. As for the wagon, you can have it from €26,690, or €1,135 less than a Passat Variant.

Source: Opel

Gallery: 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport

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Production-Start for Opel Flagship: The New Insignia

  • More than €500 million investment in production preparation
  • Insignia Grand Sport in abalone white stars at employee event
  • Opel boss Dr. Neumann praises work so far and emphasizes importance of Insignia

Rüsselsheim.  A new era begins today at Opel’s home plant in Rüsselsheim; the first Insignia Grand Sport produced to customer order officially rolled off the assembly line on Tuesday. “We have been looking forward to today for a long time; our new flagship has finally arrived. This is an important day for Opel and Rüsselsheim,” said Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann during the celebrations for the start of production of the second generation Opel Insignia. We invested more than €500 million just to prepare for the production of our new flagship.” An Insignia Grand Sport in abalone white with 170 hp 2.0‑liter diesel engine stood in the spotlight at the end of the production line.

Deputy Works Council Chairman, Uwe Baum said: “The team here in Rüsselsheim has once again demonstrated that they can deliver smooth production start-ups enabling great cars to leave the assembly line. The Works Council is especially grateful to them today, because the new Insignia is an important part of the future for Opel, which would not be possible without the input of these colleagues.”

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann also praised the work of the whole team in the Rüsselsheim plant and added: “The new Opel flagship is a core element of our product offensive, which will reach a new peak with seven new models this year alone.”

Plant Manager, Michael Lewald thanked his workforce for their great efforts in successfully preparing and executing the start of production during the last months. “Our team did another great job and superbly executed this highly complex production-start. I am proud of our new flagship and the performance of the Rüsselsheim team.”

The order books for the new Insignia Grand Sport and Sports Tourer opened on February 16. The first three production cars are destined for Poland, Denmark and Germany. The new Opel flagship just made its official world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The car will be in dealer showrooms this summer.

Dr. Neumann is confident that the new edition of the Opel flagship will continue the success of its predecessor. Nine hundred and forty thousand (940,000) units of the first generation Insignia – the 2009 European Car Of The Year – have been sold in total, making it the fourth best-selling Opel model.

Based on an all-new vehicle structure, the new Insignia is up to 200 kilograms lighter than its predecessor as well as lower and more spacious inside. The design is athletic yet elegant. One of the technology highlights is the intelligent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring – torque distribution to individual wheels within milliseconds. The new Insignia also offers a host of driver assistance systems that contribute to safety and make driving more comfortable and relaxing, such as the second-generation IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights, adaptive cruise control (ACC) and active lane assist.