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Opel unshackles fastest Insignia ever

No limits: The Opel Insignia OPC 'Unlimited' ditches the OPC's speed-limiter, making it the fastest ever car from GM's German arm.

New 270km/h Opel Insignia OPC ‘Unlimited’ hits Germany and could be sold here

19 Apr 2011

OPEL has released its fastest Insignia ever – and its production model, period – and it could top the German GM brand’s model line-up when it is introduced here as a stand-alone range by GM Holden next year.

Powered by the same Australian-made, Holden-sourced 239kW/435Nm turbocharged 2.8-litre V6, the new ‘Unlimited’ performance flagship does away with the standard Insignia OPC’s 250km/h speed-limiter to unleash a maximum velocity of 270km/h.

GM Europe’s British division, Vauxhall, is not expected to offer the new Insignia range-topper, which will be sold in Germany with an OPC performance driver training course at the Opel proving ground in Dudenhofen, under the supervision of brand ambassador and European touring car legend Joachim Winklehock.

Opel’s top-shelf Insignia OPC Unlimited delivers the same 0-100km/h acceleration as unrestricted models, ranging from six seconds in base six-speed manual sedan form to 6.6 seconds for the automatic wagon flagship.

52 center imageDistinguished by a blue Brembo logo and new tacho and speedo dials, five-door hatchback and wagon – and six-speed automatic – versions of the Insignia OPC Unlimited will also be available in Europe from this month.

Automatic versions will come with the option of steering wheel shift paddles, linked to the all-wheel drive Insignia OPC’s three-mode mechatronic FlexRide damping system. EU combined-cycle fuel consumption ranges between 10.6 and 11.0L/100km.

“We are responding to frequently expressed customer wishes,” said Adam Opel vice-president of sales, marketing and aftersales Alain Visser.

“Insignia OPC buyers are generally experienced and responsible drivers who want to enjoy the full technical possibilities of their car.”

Opel says it is also planning to release a limited-edition version with matt-black exterior paint, and a Holden spokesman told GoAuto that a decision to sell the Unlimited Insignia in Australia would be driven by Opel.

As we’ve reported, mainstream versions of the Insignia will top the Australian Opel model range, which will also comprise the entry-level Corsa light-car and small Astra hatch when it goes on sale here in 2012.

The previous-generation AH-series Astra – a nameplate that officially disappeared from the Holden range in late 2009 but still graces some showrooms – was the last Opel-sourced Holden to be sold in Australia.

However, its successor will be introduced here as a direct rival for Volkswagen’s Golf, with a circa-$3500 price premium over the $20,990-plus Adelaide-built Cruze sedan and, by year’s end, hatch.

Similarly, the Corsa hatch will be priced above the Barina to compete directly with pint-size Europeans like VW’s Polo and Ford’s Fiesta (from $16,690), while the Insignia will go head-to-head with this year’s new VW Passat and Jetta to Ford’s Mondeo.

Further afield, as well as a new Zafira people-mover, Opel is expected to release three new niche models over the next two years, including a hot Astra GTC coupe, a small SUV codenamed Junior and an all-new four-seat cabriolet that could also sire a born-again hard-top Calibra coupe.

As we’ve reported, Holden Design is responsible for styling one of three new aspirational models to debut under Opel badges in Europe – and probably Australia – by 2013.

GM’s German brand will have its own separate showroom space in Australia, where Holden will undertake all distribution, spare parts and other backroom functions as part of its drive to attract 5000-12,000 Opel sales in the first three to five years.

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