FRANKFURT -- The new Opel/Vauxhall Insignia will be lighter and more spacious than the current car and will get a new name.
The midsize model will be called the Insignia Grand Sport to reflect its elegance, lightness and sportiness, Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement on Wednesday.
The car will compete with models such as the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo. It is based on General Motor's new second-generation Epsilon platform, or E2, that also underpins the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Regal from the two GM sibling brands.
Engineers shaved off 175 kg of weight mainly by reducing the mass of the steel in the body without sacrificing stiffness and strength.
A 90mm longer wheelbase means occupants in particular in the rear will have noticeably more leg and head room, but thanks to shorter overhangs the actual length of the vehicle will increase by only 55mm.
The Insignia was a hit for Opel after it replaced the Vectra in 2008. It was named European Car of the Year in 2009. The success of the Insignia helped to convince Germany to continue funding Opel with a bridge loan during the brief period in which GM underwent its pre-packaged bankruptcy. To date, over 900,000 Insignias have been sold.
The second-generation Insignia will debut at the Geneva auto show in March and will go on sale in May.
Opel/Vauxhall sold 59,081 Insignia models in Europe in the first nine months, down 14 percent year-on-year, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.