Opel is planning a huge product onslaught for 2017, the German carmaker having announced that seven new models would be introduced internationally next year, although technically three of them belong to the same family.
While this will be Opel's biggest new model offensive ever to take place in a single year, don't get your hopes up just yet as GMSA is remaining tight-lipped about its plans for the South African market.
The local division has, however, promised to introduce “exciting” new models “as appropriate”.
Opel Insignia Grand Sport
The one that we find the most exciting, although it's unlikely to be deemed “appropriate” given SA's complete apathy towards any D-segment sedan that does not wear a premium badge, is Opel's new Insignia Grand Sport.
The new Ford Fusion and VW Passat rival is in its final stages of development ahead of its reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year. Opel describes it as a five-door sedan with a “coupé-like silhouette, sporty handling and class-leading all-wheel drive.”
If we attempt to read beneath the disguise fitted to the prototype in the picture above, it would appear that the new Insignia's front end has been inspired by the Monza Concept of 2013, albeit toned down for all the practical considerations of a real-life car.
Built on a brand new platform, the Insignia Grand Sport will be longer, wider, better-packaged and consequently more spacious than its predecessor, while shaving 175kg off the kerb weight.
The family will also expand to include a 'Sports Tourer' station wagon version of the Insignia, which will in turn spawn a 'Country Tourer' crossover variant, sporting a raised ground clearance and some rugged-looking trim bits.
Opel's Rav4 Rival
Now that we're on the crossover topic, one new Opel that we would certainly put money on for local introduction is Opel's upcoming C-segment crossover, which the carmaker describes as being “especially sporty”.
Though on the radar for next year, little else is known about the newcomer, which will almost certainly be based on the Astra platform.
Crossland X joins Mokka
Another strong contender for South African introduction is the Crossland X, which joins the Mokka X in Opel's B-segment family from early next year.
Opel has yet to explain how the newcomer will fit in, in relation to its Mokka sibling, except to say that it “gives further impetus to the trend towards sporty as well as spacious CUVs.”
Charging up with Ampera-e
Although electric vehicles have yet to gain any real kind of following in South Africa, it's not impossible that GMSA might consider following the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 into the market with its new Ampera-e, especially since it might be better suited to our long-distance lifestyles thanks to the claimed range of 500km between charges.
Based on the Chevrolet Bolt, the Ampera-e boasts seating for five above its cleverly-packaged floor-mounted batteries and boot space is also said to be comparable to a traditional Astra-sized hatch.
Vans are still big business for Opel in Europe and the brand's next-generation Vivaro promises “a whole new level of passenger comfort and flexibility.” Don't bet on it coming to South Africa, however, given that the current model is no longer sold here.
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