Vauxhall’s Vectra is now showing its age, so it’s about time its replacement arrived. And what a step forward in design the new Insignia is. Gone are the days when family saloons were designed to look like boxes, the new Insignia is styled like a coupé. It has a distinctive ‘blade’ feature running along the side of the car and even the radiator grille has a new-look Vauxhall emblem.
The Insignia is available with five engines at launch. All meet the Euro 5 emissions standard and come with either manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. The three petrol engines range from a four-cylinder 140PS unit to a V6 with 260PS. Two new 2.0-litre direct-injection diesel engines will be offered with power outputs of either 130PS or 160PS. In time, the Insignia engine line-up will be extended with an EcoFLEX version offering low CO2 emissions in addition to other more powerful variants.
The Insignia will be offered with front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The new ‘Adaptive 4X4’ system has proactive, instantaneous torque distribution to provide optimal traction and improve handling.
The car will have clever lights; the latest generation AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) system means that nine different light beam settings automatically adjust themselves to cater for various driving conditions. The interior features ambient lighting which is said to radiate a ‘warm, luxurious aura’.
The five-seater Insignia will initially be available in hatchback and saloon guise and the car will be officially launched at the British International Motor Show in London on July 22.
The Insignia was developed by GM Europe with a significant contribution coming from Vauxhall’s Engineering Centre at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, UK.