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Opel ‘planning new Omega’

Big boy: Cadillac’s XTS large car is said to be the base for a new Opel flagship that could revive the Omega name.

German reports say Opel flagship might revive Omega name – but maybe not for Oz

24 Jul 2012

IF OPEL is planning a born-again Omega flagship to take on the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it is not in the company’s future model plans for Australia between now and 2015.

German reports suggest the European arm of General Motors is working on a re-skinned Cadillac XTS large car to sit above the mid-size Opel Insignia from late 2013, reviving the Omega nameplate that was killed off in 2003.

The reports appear to confirm a recent hint by Opel’s short-lived CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, who was quoted as saying: “We need a car above the Insignia and we are working [on it].”

If the new model does go ahead, it might provide an opportunity for Holden’s Australian engine plant, whose locally built 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 could be in contention.

German automotive news website AutoNews.de says the all-wheel-drive sedan will get GM’s V6 engines – perhaps including the 2.8-litre turbo alongside an American-made normally aspirated direct-injected 3.6-litre LTX V6 from the big Cadillac.

Opel Australia’s head of marketing and public relations, Michelle Lang, said that, for Australia at least, no such car was on the three-year model plan.

52 center imageFrom top: 2012 Opel Insignia 1999 Opel Omega.

“It has not been slated as a possibility of bringing it into Australia,” she said.

“We have pretty much got our line-up for the next three years locked in. That could certainly change, but it is not in our long-term plan at this stage.”

Opel’s Australian roll-out starts next week with the media launch of the range, starting with the Corsa light car, Astra small car – including the sporty GTC hatch – and Insignia mid-sizer.

The Insignia range is expected to be topped by the hot OPC variant powered by the 239kW 2.8-litre turbo V6 made at Holden’s Port Melbourne engine plant alongside normally aspirated V6 engines for Commodore and other GM cars.

According to AutoNews.de, this engine might be slotted into the Omega, as an alternative to the similarly powered normally aspirated 3.6-litre V6.

The XTS is built on an expanded version of GM’s Epsilon II platform – called Super Epsilon – which also underpins the Buick LaCrosse and upcoming Chevrolet Impala. In its shorter form, the architecture sits under the Insignia, Buick Regal and Chevrolet/Holden Malibu.

The Cadillac is about 300mm longer than the Insignia, with a wheelbase stretched about 100mm.

The Holden 2.8-litre turbo V6 originally was exported to a number of export clients, including Alfa Romeo, Saab and Cadillac.

However, the only export market remaining is Europe, where the engine powers the flagship Insignia in its OPC (Opel) and VRX (Vauxhall) variants.

The German-built Opel/Vauxhall Omega was sold in Europe between 1986 and 2003 as a so-called ‘executive car’.

The second-generation Omega B provided the base for Holden’s 1997 VT Commodore, albeit in a modified form.

Holden later acknowledged the Omega link when it adopted the nameplate for its entry-level Commodore.

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