Australians are in mourning. A national tragedy befell them, a new Holden is out, with no V8, no manual transmission, and no rear-drive. The president declared 40 days of burnouts. Presumably.

On the other hand the Americans seem quite chuffed with their new Buick. Ditto the Europeans, with their snazzy new Opel.

Well you win some and lose some and sadly for them it was the Aussies’ turn — General Motors’ all-new global D-segment saloon will go on sale worldwide as a Buick Regal, Opel Insignia and Holden Commodore.

Australians will lament the loss of their beloved V8 Commodores, replaced by new front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars packing four-cylinder turbocharged engines and V6 options. Perhaps they can be consoled by the fact the new one weighs 175kg less.

Inspired by Opel’s plug-in hybrid Monza concept premiered at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, the 2017 Insignia/Regal/Commodore sits on GM’s E2XX platform (debuting with the 2016 Chevy Malibu — boy this thing gets around…), which makes it lower, wider and longer than preceding models.

At launch the car will come with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission featuring torque-vectoring and three driving modes including Sport and Tour. The lights are packed with 32 LEDs up front, and GM’s thrown in a head-up display unit, and loads of safety kit like adaptive cruise, lane keeping assist, and cameras enabling rear traffic alerts.

The car will receive its official public premiere at the Geneva motor show this coming March before going on sale next summer.