Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Dillsboro, Indiana, United States
Drive down the Autobahn and there's any number of vehicles likely to pass you, and most of them are produced locally. But if you're wondering how that Opel left you in its dust, look closely (and quickly) enough and you might make out the letters OPC on the back.
They stand for Opel Performance Center (the German counterpart to Vauxhall's VXR line) and they adorn performance versions of the Corsa, Astra and Insignia. The latter is undergoing a bit of a refresh and is expected to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple of weeks, but you don't have to wait that long as our intrepid spy photographers have caught it in the flesh outside an Opel facility in Germany.
Spied here completely undisguised in Sports Tourer (read: wagon) form, the Insignia has had a few nips and tucks performed, but we'll be more intrigued to see what it's got under the hood. The current model packs a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 driving 325 horsepower to all four wheels, but rumors suggest that the OPC (yeah you know me!) could have as much as 400 hp up its sleeve. That would make this one heck of a sleeper - especially in wagon form - and only make us pine for a more potent version of its twin Buick Regal to roam our highways, too.
General Motors has issued a recall covering 38,197 2012 and 2013 model-year Chevy Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans equipped with eAssist, and sold in the United States. The automaker will check the generator control module for proper operation. Only vehicles built before December 2012 are being recalled.
According to the automaker, a malfunctioning generator control module could slowly drain the battery, causing an indicator to light up in the dash. If that indicator is ignored, the driver may experience a stalling engine, and in some cases, "a burning or melting odor, smoke, and, in rare instances, a fire in the trunk."
GM says the issue is not with the eAssist battery pack; the smoke and fire comes from overheating of the control board. One trunk fire has been reported, but no injuries are known. Scroll down below for the official press release from GM.
If there are any lingering doubts why General Motors held onto Buick while killing Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, one only has to look at the sales numbers from 2013 for the real answer. Thanks largely to strong sales in China, Buick set a global sales record last year by selling more than one million vehicles.
The lion's share of Buick sales came from China, which sold more than 809,000 units - about four times more Buicks than were sold in North America as a whole. In the US, the Buick Encore accounted for almost half of all US sales with 97,311 units as Buick spent the summer trying to keep up with demand of the subcompact crossover. Likewise, China-only models like the GL8 minivan and Excelle sedan (same as the US-spec Verano) were strong sellers in that market.
For good measure, Buick more than doubled its sales in Mexico with 2,319 units. Scroll down for the full press release.