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Auto blogThu, 22 Aug 2013
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.
2010 Buick Enclave - Click above for high-res image gallery
The summer of 2010's recall hit parade continues unabated today, with General Motors having just announced that it is asking 243,403 owners of its 2009-2010 Lambda crossovers to bring their three-row haulers in for inspection. The culprit? Second-row seat belts in select Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook CUVs have "failed to perform properly in a crash."
According to GM, a second-row seat-side trim piece is to blame, as it can impede the upward rotation of the buckle after the seat is folded flat. As a result, if the buckle makes contact with the seat frame, cosmetic damage can occur, potentially requiring additional force to operate the buckle properly. So far, no great shakes, but in the process of applying that additional force, the occupant may push the buckle cover down to the strap, potentially revealing and depressing the red release button. As a result of this, the belt may not latch, or in certain cases, it may actually appear to be latched when, in fact, it isn't.
Opel, General Motors' troubled German brand continues its quest to reinvent itself and find solid profitability. In the course of that metamorphosis, the company has a bit of good news/bad news today. The good news is, it will once again begin screwing together Buick models for the American market. The bad news, though, is that it's being shut down in yet another country, China.
Let's start with the good news. The last vehicle Opel's Ruesselsheim factory built for the North American market was the early run of the then-new Regal, which is based heavily on the Opel Insignia. Production ran for just over two years, from 2009 to 2011, before moving production to Oshawa, Ontario.
Now, thanks to a 245-million-euro investment (just over $336 million), Opel will kick off production of a unspecified model for the US in the "second half of the decade," according to Automotive News. According to Opel, the new model will be announced before the end of 2014. You can begin your speculation about this new model down in Comments (we're wagering it'll be the Cascada convertible, sold here under the Buick umbrella).