The UK’s mid-size sector has traditionally been the preserve of conservative and predictable designs. But the Insignia offers buyers in this class a compelling mix of breathtaking design and leading technology.
Style & efficiency with wide choice of powertrains
The Insignia’s elegant styling combines sculptured artistry with technical precision, illustrated by wing and blade themes which integrate with the car’s rakish, but graceful silhouette. The body’s sculpted shape is punctuated by sweeping front and rear light designs and fronted by a bold radiator grille, which displays the refreshed Griffin logo in a new, circular surround carrying Vauxhall’s name.
Another benefit brought by the Insignia’s flowing lines is a spectacularly low Cd of just 0.27, bringing with it benefits in fuel consumption, cabin refinement and performance. All body variants have an identical wheelbase of 2737mm, while the Sport Tourer adds around 80mm to the 4830mm length of the saloon and hatch models.
Insignia’s saloon and hatch models will hit UK dealerships at the end of 2008 with a broad range of two diesel and three petrol engines. The Sports Tourer brought with it two further powertrains, a 1.6-litre, 180PS petrol and a new 2.0 CDTi BiTurbo with a maximum output of 190PS. All powertrains come with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmission.
New technology benefits dynamics and safety
A range of new or improved features on the Insignia enhance everything from dynamics to comfort and safety. The FlexRide system, available on selected models, allows drivers to personalise their suspension set up at the press of a button, or if left alone will automatically adapt to different driving styles. Complementing FlexRide is Adaptive 4X4, which improves handling and stability in all conditions. Standard with both turbocharged petrol powertrains, the system uses electronically controlled hydraulic disc clutch plates to distribute torque from 0-100 per cent between the front and rear axles. On SRi models, an electronic limited slip differential which balances rear wheel torque left to right is also standard.
Vauxhall’s Front Camera System will appear as an option on Insignia soon after launch. This leading technology uses a small camera, positioned inside the car’s windscreen to read and memorise both speed warning and no-overtaking signs, the details of which are relayed back to the driver from the instrument panel. The system also incorporates a lane departure warning, alerting drivers if they unintentionally leave their lane.
The Insignia is also the first Vauxhall to use the latest generation Adaptive Forward Lighting. This clever system now uses nine lighting functions which automatically adapt to information relating to road profile, driving status and general visibility. Models fitted with Intelligent AFL are also equipped with LED daytime running lamps.
Market: “The right car at the right time”
Vauxhall rejuvenated the coupe segment in 1989 with the Calibra and co-founded the compact MPV category ten years later with the Zafira. Now, with the Insignia, Vauxhall is bringing much-needed panache to a market segment that is being revitalised as people search for vehicle with greater fuel efficiency.
The Insignia’s innovative design has the potential not only to excite mid-size car buyers again, but also to recapture customers leaving the large SUV segments because of high fuel costs. Mid-size cars currently account for around 10 per cent of the European market, but it is expected that this figure will increase again.
“This is the right car being introduced at the right time as people are moving from large sports utility vehicles. The Insignia is expressive looking, uses fuel efficiently and has five full seats and plenty of luggage capacity all important features for families,” says Alain Visser, GME’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Developed by General Motors Europe, with a significant contribution coming from Vauxhall’s Engineering Centre at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, UK, the Insignia will be built at GME’s plant in Rüsselsheim.