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by Daniel DeGasperi

The Opel Insignia will come in for its first facelift since the mid-sized model range launched in 2008.

Caught here during cold-weather testing, the Insignia testers have undisguised headlights, engineers obviously testing their performance. The new lights are more angular than those used in the current Insignia, with an obvious ‘kink’ added on the lower trailing edge of the design. The grille also appears wider than before, yet does not cut as deeply into the bumper as the outgoing car.

At the rear, the Insignia picks up design cues from the Opel Cascada Convertible, with a full length chrome strip melding into the repeaters of the redesigned tail-lights – the indicators having moved from the lower part of the light design to the middle. The chrome strip is also now lower, continuing to horizontally divide the boot lid, with a concave section below the strip concealing the liftback button.

The changes are reportedly as subtle inside, with new air vents and a larger infotainment screen tipped to be the main changes. Enhanced networking capabilities are apparently driving the changes to the Insignia’s interior design, with Opel expected to follow Chevrolet by offering GM’s MyLink entertainment system, which includes ‘apps’ for streaming music and using internet functions.

Opel is also working on auto-braking technology and blind-spot assistance, which will likely debut on the company’s flagship Insignia models.

While the near-term future of the Insignia OPC is secure, Opel is tipped to replace its regular 2.8-litre V6 Insignia models, which currently produce 191kW and 350Nm, with the powered-up 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the Opel Astra OPC, which makes 206kW and 400Nm.

It isn’t clear when Opel Australia will update its Insignia range, however the facelifted mid-sizer is expected to debut at the Geneva motor show in March, so expect a late-2013 release on local shores.




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