The four seater convertible segment continues to shrink with the recent departure of the Chrysler 200 Convertible and the upcoming disappearance of the VW Eos. Well fans of the segment will be happy to know that the U.S. is now one step closer to getting Europe's Opel Cascada convertible, which will wear the Buick badge.
Opel has unveiled the 2015 Opel Corsa ahead of its world debut later this year at the Paris Motor Show. The fifth generation Corsa is Opel's best seller and continues to be offered as a three or five door hatchback.
Opel has announced that it will start building a Buick for the U.S. in the second half of the decade at its plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Opel is going to invest 245 million euros to build the unnamed Buick at its plant.
General Motors has revealed its new family of Ecotec small engines, which will range in size from 1.0L to 1.5L. GM says that the new engines will power many of its small cars and compact crossovers, including the all-new 2015 Chevy Cruze.
Opel has reportedly registered the "Cascada" and "Calibra" nameplates in the U.S. What does that mean? Well the Opel brand is not offered in the U.S., but many of its models are sold here as Buicks.
Opel has unveiled the new Opel Insignia OPC, which gets some style updates and is powered by a 325-hp engine that accelerates the Insignia OPC from 0-62 mph in 6.0 seconds. On the outside the new Insignia OPC gets a re-styled front and rear, with signature OPC design elements such as distinctive saber-tooth detailing at the front and the tailpipe trim integrated in the rear.
Opel has unveiled its new Monza Concept ahead of its world debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Opel says that the Monza concept is the "role-model for the next generation of Opel cars." The original Monzahad its world premiere at the IAA back in 1977 and was a large coupe with a six-cylinder engine. The Monza was in production until 1986.
Opel is set to debut the new Opel Monza Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and although it's labeled as a concept, Opel says that it's a glimpse of the brand's future. "The Monza Concept is our vision of Opel's future in pure form," says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. "It also continues a long Opel tradition of presenting ground-breaking concept cars at the IAA. After all, Opel was the first carmaker in Europe that built a study and presented it to the public at the IAA in 1965."
Opel has released teaser photos of its new Monza concept, which is going to have its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The Monza concept is a preview of Opel's future and according to Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, the concept "stands for our fundamental values: German engineering and precision, combined with enthralling design and innovations suitable for everyday use."
Opel has unveiled the newest member of the Insignia family, the Opel Insignia Country Tourer, which is going to debut this September in Frankfurt. While the Insignia Sports Tourer is a sportier more "elegant" wagon, the new Insignia Country Tourer is designed for buyers that want a bit more adventure with its higher ground clearance and extra protective body cladding.
Buick's lineup has gone through a major reformation in the past few years. The transition from a stodgy brand that was geared more towards the retired generation to today's more stylish models is largely thanks to GM's European brand, Opel. The Buick Verano, Regal and Encore models are all re-badged Opel models that have brought a bit more excitement to the brand. Opel fans in the U.S. will be glad to hear that the relationship between the two brands will continue in the future.
Opel is going to unveil a refreshed Opel Insignia at the Frankfurt Motor Show this fall, but in the meantime here is our first look. THe new Insignia, which is sold in the US as the Buick Regal gets refreshed interior and exterior styling and updated engines.
Opel has taken the wraps off the 2013 Opel Cascada convertible, which will be released in early 2013. The Opel Cascada is a four-seater convertible with a soft top, which Opel describes as a return an older tradition of prestigious and rare midsize, four-seat soft-top convertibles from the fifties and sixties.
Opel is bringing a new convertible to the Paris Motor Show, the Cascada, which gets its name from the Spanish word meaning waterfall. The Cascada name also ends in the traditional letter "a" typical for Opel. According to Opel, the name conveys a rhythmic, dynamic and flowing elegance, beauty, freshness and pure pleasure for open-air driving.
Opel has just unveiled the 2013 Opel Adam, which is Opel's new A-segment model that will compete against other small models like the Fiat 500. Opel claims that the Adam's small size makes it perfect for an urban environment.
The Opel Adam has room for up to four passengers. According to Opel, the Adam "targets especially trendy urban customers who are looking for a car that expresses their personal style."
"The new Opel ADAM offers lots of growth potential for our brand. We are very proud that our fashionable small car brings German engineering excellence to its segment," says Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke. "In fact, the ADAM is the only A-segment car that will be exclusively built in Germany. We are sure that it will get a fantastic reception in Paris at its world premiere in September:"
The Chevy Volt and the Opel Ampera today won the European "Car of the Year 2012" award voted by a panel of 59 judges from 23 European nations. The Ampera/Volt received 330 points against the Volkswagen Up! with 281 and Ford Focus with 256.
The final selection was made in the context of the Geneva Motor Show. The Ampera and the Volt emerged as the joint overall winner in a field of seven finalists. Initially, 35 recently launched vehicles entered the contest.
"Our car demonstrates that electric driving can be fun and reliable without ever compromising the owners' lifestyle," Chevrolet President and Managing Director for Europe Susan Docherty said. "It is a proud moment for us and an honor to receive this award from Europe's leading jury of automotive journalists."
Opel has unveiled the most powerful Astra ever, the Opel Astra OPC. The Opel Astra OPC is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque.
The Astra OPC (Opel Performance Center) starts with the Astra GTC, but dials up the performance even higher. It features the same high tech front-wheel suspension, HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) of the Astra GTC, but gets a limited slip differential on the front axle. The FlexRide chassis lets the driver sharpen the characteristic shock absorber line, the steering and the gas pedal responsiveness with the touch of a "Sport" and "OPC" button. All that power is kept under control thanks to a high performance Brembo brake system.
The OPC stands out from the GTC thanks to unique front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a trapeze shape. The inside of the Opel OPC gets Recaro bucket seats and a flat OPC sports leather steering wheel.
There's a strong possibility that the Astra OPC and GTC could come to the U.S. with a Buick badge. A recent contract negotiation between the UAW and GM revealed that a new compact vehicle will soon be built in the U.S. and sold as a Buick.
We've heard rumors before, but now there are new reports that Opel's recently unveiled Astra GTC could come to the U.S. and be badged as a Buick. Opel's Karl-Friedrich Stracke recently stated, "I could easily see it as a Buick."
The United Auto Workers (UAW) also recently negotiated a new contract with GM that could provide even more proof that the Astra GTC is headed to the U.S. According to union officials GM is set to build a new compact vehicle that will create more than 500 jobs.
GM unveiled the 2012 Opel Astra GTC in June. It rides 15 mm lower than the five-door Astra with wider front and rear tracks. It also gets a sportier suspension. In Europe it's offered with the choice of a diesel or three different gasoline engines. The top engine is the 180-hp 1.6L turbocharged engine. An even more powerful Astra OPC is expected to debut next year.
It looks like small electric vehicles will be the theme at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, which kicks off next week. VW and Audi have already shown off their electric car concepts and now Opel is jumping in with its own two-seat electric car concept.
The unnamed Opel/ Vauxhall electric car concept features room for two passengers that ride in tandem. According to the automaker the concept has a range of 60 miles and can reach a top speed of 75 mph.
It looks like GM is not happy about recent comments that VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn made about the possible sale of GM's Opel division.
In Wednesday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn commented on rumors regarding Opel. GM calls these comments "regrettable."
GM released this statement, "General Motors has a longstanding policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation. Unfortunately, some of our competitors do not show similar restraint."
GM claims that VW's comments were timed to the positive media reaction its received about the new Opel Ampera, which according to GM has been labeled as "a stroke of genius." An unnamed industry expert said that the Opel Ampera places "Opel three years ahead of VW."
Because of the strong demand and enthusiastic reviews, Opel is ordering an additional 2,000 Amperas for the European market next year.
Vauxhall/ Opel unveiled the 2012 Astra GTC earlier this week. Now it's been confirmed that the upcoming Astra Cabrio will not have a retractable metal roof like the current model. Instead the Astra Cabrio is going to get a traditional folding soft top.
Vauxhall's British design boss, Mark Adams, released the single sketch that you see here of the new convertible. It's expected that the Astra convertible will be released within the next 18 months. The Astra Cabrio should be powered by the same four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines as the other Astra models, although it's unlikely that a high-performance OPC model will be released.
The Astra GTC is inspired by the Opel GTC Paris Concept that was unveiled last fall. The Astra GTC is unique in the fact that it doesn't share any exterior elements with the other members of the Astra family, with the exception of the mirrors and antenna.
"We wanted the Astra GTC to be the ultimate expression of Opel's design language 'sculptural artistry meets German precision' and to embody our passion for the automobile," says Mark Adams, Vice President, Opel/Vauxhall Design. "However, we did not want emotion to overshadow functionality: the Astra GTC is a clever and affordable dream car."
Buick is experiencing a revival in the U.S., thanks in large part to the new models its borrowed from Europe's Opel. Now it looks like Buick is going to return the favor by sending two of its upcoming models to Europe, to be sold under the Opel brand.
It's being reported that GM is going to better align the Buick and Opel brands in the future. The next-generation Enclave crossover is due in 2015 and will be the first Buick to be badged as an Opel. The 2015 Enclave is also expected to get new four-cylinder engines, which will make it more appealing to European buyers.
The year after the Enclave gets rebadged as an Opel, the next-generation Buick LaCrosse will also be offered as an Opel in Europe. The next-generation Buick LaCrosse is expected to be smaller and lighter than the current model.
Here's your first look at the 2012 Opel Zafira Tourer, which is going to be officially unveiled this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. GM originally gave us a preview of the new Zafira as a concept model in Geneva, but here it is in final production form.
The Zafira Tourer brings the style and quality of the Insignia to the MPV segment. The third generation model brings more style to the third generation Zafira.
The Zafira is Opel's flexibility icon, and we wanted to bring more emotion and premium qualities into its third generation," says Mark Adams, Vice President, Opel/Vauxhall Design. "The Opel Zafira Tourer makes a statement with its sleek, sporty look and premium feel."
The final styling of the Zafira Tourer stays true to the concept with its distinctive front with its bold twin "boomerang" graphics which sweep from the headlights to the fog lamps.
When the Zafira Tourer launches in Europe this fall it will be available with three different versions of the 2.0L CDTI common-rail diesel engine with either 110, 130 or 165 horsepower. If you prefer a gasoline engine, the 1.4L Ecotec engine is available with either 120 or 140-hp. The engines can be mated to either six=speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Who knows if we will get the Zafira Tourer in the U.S., but at least we're getting the Astra GTC.
The new coupe will be based on the Insignia's Epsilon II platform. It will be powered by a 2.8L turbocharged V6. In Europe the new Opel will be badged as the Calibra and a range topping VXR version is expected to have around 325 horsepower. It's expected to reach 0-62 mph in less than six seconds and have a top speed of 155 mph. The lesser powered models are expected to still have turbochargers under the hood. Production is expected to start in October 2012 with sales starting in 2013.
Why should we be concerned with this model? The Opel Insignia is also sold in the U.S. as the Buick Regal, so the coupe version of the Insignia could also come here. Anything is possible since Buick is reportedly getting a version of the Opel Astra GTC.
Opel gave us our first official look at the 2012 Astra GTC late last month, which is set to be unveiled this June and in Frankfurt later this year. The new Astra is much sleeker and sportier than the last model, which if you recall was sold here as the Saturn Astra. That model obviously failed and went down with the rest of the Saturn brand. It looks like GM is set to bring the Astra back to the US, but this time it will be badged as a Buick.
Lexus and Audi both have small luxury hatchbacks in the US and Mercedes will be bringing the A-Class hatch here soon as well, so it makes sense that Buick try to capture a piece of that market as well. The Astra is already coming here in the form of the Verano sedan, but we're expected to get the much hotter GTC version as well. The GTC is being offered in Europe with a range of four-cylinder engines that have up to 300 horsepower. In the US, it is likely that the GTC will get the same engines as the Verona, a 177-hp 2.4L and a turbocharged 2.0L with 220-hp.
The GTC is pretty much confirmed for the US, but a convertible could also make its way over that will be based on the same Delta platform as the Astra and Verano. Although it will be based on the same mechanicals as the Verano, Astra and Cruze, it's expected to get its own distinct styling. The new convertible is expected to launch as an Opel in late 2012, but it remains to be seen if it will come here as a Buick.
The Astra GTC is based on the Opel GTC concept car that was unveiled in October 2010. The production version will be a five-seater, three-door sporty compact car. The production model is currently undergoing final development.
Full details about the Astra GTC will be released on June 7th, with the production model debuting on September 15th, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Opel has an even faster version of the Insignia OPC, the Insignia OPC Unlimited. The Unlimited version of the Insignia OPC is faster due to the removal of the electronically-restricted top speed. The Insignia OPC Unlimited has a top speed of 168 mph compared to 155 mph for the regular Insignia OPC.
"We are responding to frequently expressed customer wishes," says Alain Visser, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Adam Opel AG. "Insignia OPC buyers are generally experienced and responsible drivers who want to enjoy the full technical possibilities of their car."
It's powered by a turbocharged 2.8L V6 that pumps out 325 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. The Insignia OPC Unlimited can reach 0-62 mph in six seconds and the power is put to the ground via an all-wheel-drive system.
The Opel Insignia OPC Unlimited is visually distinguished by a blue Brembo logo and a newly-designed tachometer and speedometer.
Prices begin at 48,605 euros (in Germany).
GM's engineers and designers are currently working on a Buick version of the Ampera that will adopt the Buick waterfall grille and Buick's front end styling. The biggest difficulty that GM faces right now is being able to differentiate it enough from the Chevy Volt. The Buick version would cost more than the Volt, so GM needs to add more features to it in order to justify the higher price.
It's hard to say how different GM will actually make the Buick version, since GM wants to rush the hybrid to the market. If it is officially approved, the Buick plug-in hybrid could be on sale by 2013.
GM has finally announced the sale of Opel to Magna after months of debating. According to GM's press release, Magna/Sberbank will own 55 percent of Opel, while GM will retain 35 percent and employeeshttp://www.thetorquereport.com/us/sysdoc/blog/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=2 will hold the remaining 10 percent.
In the coming weeks binding agreements including the written support of the labor unions and a definitive financing package from the German government will be finalized.
Under the new agreement, Opel/ Vauxhall will continue to be a fully integrated part of GM's global product development organization.
GM'S board is meeting again to discuss the fate of the Opel and Vauxhall brands and a decision could come out as early as today. The board is expected to hold its second round of meetings today after it failed to make a decision last month.
Currently there are two bidders for Opel, RHJ and Magna. Germany's organized labor is supporting a sale to Magna because it is expected to save more jobs in Germany. On the other hand GM is worried that a sale to Magna would hurt GM's Russian business. Although GM could delay the announcement again, political pressure may bring a decision sooner than later.
GM's board declined to name a winning bidder for the Open brand last Friday as was expected. Instead the automaker decided to ask the German government more information about state financing for the buyers.
The German government has been pressuring GM to announce the sale of Opel to Magna and its Russian partners, since it would mean that more jobs would stay in Germany. Although it seems that GM is preferring a sale to Brussels-based financial investor RHJ International. So rather than announce the sale on Friday, GM's board wanted to find out how much money RHJ would get from the government if they were chosen. It's also being reported that the reason that GM is keen on selling Opel to RHJ is because it would include a buy-back option.
Either way the German government is not happy about the delay and Opel's labor leader Klaus Franz has threatened "spectacular measures" if a decision is not made this week.
The new Astra convertible will replace the Astra TwinTop in the lineup and will only seat two. It will feature a retractable hardtop and will be sportier than the old TwinTop. The interior will be similar to the hatchback, but with sportier seats and more luxury appointments.
The two-seater is expected to go head to head with the Mini and VW's upcoming roadster.
The 2010 Astra borrows styling cues from the mid-size Insignia. The new Astra has more interior room thanks to a longer wheelbase. It also features a cab-forward design that exhibits Opel's new design language, sculptural artistry combined with German precision. The wing and blade design cues on the exterior are also used on the inside.
There are a total of eight engines that will be offered, four diesel and four gasoline powered. The diesel engines range in size from 1.3L to 2.0L units, putting out between 95- 160 horsepower. The four gasoline engines put out from 100hp to 180hp.
Now that Saturn is dead, it's been rumored that Buick will receive this new Astra.
The new Astra is based on the Delta platform, which underpins the Chevy Cruze and upcoming Volt. The sixth-generation Astra will be powered by a normally aspirated gasoline1.4L four-cylinder according to CarScoop and turbocharged variants will also be offered. A turbocharged 180-hp 1.6L is also expected. In regards to diesel powerplants, a range of diesels will also be available, including 1.3, 1.7 and 2.0L variants.
CarScoop also claims that the five-door Astra will hit showrooms this fall and a three-door GTC coupe is expected to follow. A wagon, four-door sedan, and a retractable hardtop model are also expected.
Now we just have to wait and see if the Astra makes it to the US, even though GM's ownership of Opel may soon be over.
Although Opel has been one of GM's "better" brands lately, the European brand is not going to be under the GM umbrella much longer. It's already been rumored that GM is looking for a suitable buyer for the brand, but now GM CEO Fritz Henderson recently stated that there are several bidders for the brand.
GM hopes to decide on a buyer by the end of this month, right before its June 1st deadline. Fiat and Magna have publicly announced their interest in the brand. GM insists on having the final word on who buys the brand. GM has also asked the German government for 2.5 billion euros to help finance new company.
Now if GM can find a buyer for Saab and HUMMER...