While the Holden Commodore will soon be no more, its Opel Insignia twin will live on… as a crossover.
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If General Motors had continued its deal with Groupe PSA, the Holden Commodore name might’ve ended up on a crossover.

Auto Express reports a transition to a crossover body style is in the cards for the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia.

With sales having fallen by half over the course of a decade, PSA is planning on making a radical change to Opel’s mid-sizer.

Vauxhall managing director Stephen Norman told Auto Express, “The industry is asking what happens after the SUV. And we think the new Insignia will be it.”

“It’s the biggest metamorphosis of what we’ve seen so far from Vauxhall.”

Though Norman wouldn’t comment on just how the next-generation Insignia would look, Auto Express understands it will resemble a cross between an SUV or a MPV, much like a Renault Espace (above) albeit with only two rows of seating.

The Espace is another metamorphosed version of a venerable model line. For decades a conventional people mover – the Espace invented the European MPV segment – it adopted a crossover-like appearance for 2015.

The next-generation Insignia is also expected to take a step upmarket when it appears sometime after 2022.

In addition to moving from GM powertrains to those in the PSA family, the Insignia will also move to the EMP2 platform.

The platform underpins a vast array of vehicles, including Opel’s own mid-size Grandland X crossover (above) and Peugeot’s 308 and 508 passenger cars and 3008 and 5008 SUVs.

It also underpins the mid-size DS 7 Crossback and Citroen C5 Aircross SUVs, among other vehicles.

As the Grandland X is available as a plug-in hybrid, the next-generation Insignia is likely to do the same. That’ll also help Opel/Vauxhall meet tougher EU emissions standards.

In the Grandland X, the plug-in hybrid option matches a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a pair of electric motors and a 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The petrol engine produces 149kW while the electric motors produce a combined 81kW.

Another candidate for the next Insignia is the turbocharged 1.6-litre PureTech four-cylinder available in the Peugeot 508, among other EMP2 vehicles.

The Insignia’s transition to crossover-cum-people mover is similar to Ford’s rumoured plans for the Mondeo.

The Blue Oval brand is set to replace the Mondeo and Galaxy and S-Max people movers with one vehicle, a large, high-riding wagon that may become a global model for Ford.

Ford and Opel are taking different tacks to Hyundai, Kia and even in-house rival Peugeot.

Above: Peugeot 508

Those brands are attempting to reinvigorate sales of their mid-size models by adopting swoopy, fastback styling.

In a sign of the times, even the European segment-leader, the Volkswagen Passat, has seen its sales decline. Long after reaching lofty heights of over 300,000 annual sales in 2006 and 2007, Volkswagen sold just 154,074 Passats last year in Europe.

Nevertheless, the Passat still outsells the Insignia by more than two-to-one, which helps explain why Opel is so willing to drastically alter the formula of one of its stalwart models.