Opel Insignia by Opel, Germany

2005: Germany.

Full Size Vehicle on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Opel “Insignia” – that sounds like an honor or a symbol of value or merit. In terms of automobile design and form, this Insignia represents a totally new vision of the Opel brand. A concept that takes the unconventional route, that reconciles aesthetics with practicality, and embodies three of the Opel brand’s core characteristics: expressive design, excellent driving dynamics – as indicated by the coupe-like shape, the long wheelbase and the wide tread – and exceptional versatility. With its comprehensive LED light technology and its amazing, innovative pantograph-action doors and tailgate, it is Opel’s technology and image standard-bearer. The Insignia tells the world that “Opel is back”. It is a self-assured message to anyone who expects more from a car of this format, for example a dynamic four-seater for business use, but also relaxed, five-seat weekend transport for the family and leisure.

“You can sketch a good design with just a few lines.” Opel’s Executive Director of Design, Martin Smith’s firm belief become reality with the Insignia’s format (length x width x height: 4.8 x 1.9 x 1.4 meters) and balanced proportions. A progressively elegant and dynamic form with a long wheelbase (2.9 m), in a segment usually dominated by conservative shapes. With sweeping A-pillars, short overhangs and inward-tape-ring front and rear ends, and an imposing radiator grille that represents the pride of the brand in three-dimensional form – a reference to the big cars, which have always been part of Opel’s tradition. It is milled out of solid aluminum and flanked by large air intakes, thus dominating the front end and conveying unmistakable confidence. An Opel with power under the domed, V-shaped hood and its characteristic crease down the middle.

The Insignia also looks dynamic when seen from the side. The striking shoulder lines grow out of the front and rear fenders like muscles, and above them, clear, elegant window graphics without B-pillars and accentuated by a discreet chrome frame. The design of the 21-inch aluminum wheels, satin-finished with polished elements, echoes the body’s styling cues. At the rear there is an equally high degree of formal unity. The large V-shaped, three-dimensionally tapering tailgate dominates the appearance, with accents provided by a striking chrome strip and double twin-exhausts integrated into the bumpers.