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Sleeker, lighter Vauxhall Insignia breaks cover

Car gains new Insignia Grand Sport title.

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The look of the much-trailed new Vauxhall Insignia has been unveiled, with the model taking the new name of Insignia Grand Sport.

The Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 7th March and go on UK sale in the summer of 2017.

It faces a major task – the current Insignia, on sale since 2008, has consistently led its segment in sales, selling 46,324 examples in its best year of 2011. Last year the car sold 33,717, despite manufacturers from the premium sector now targeting mainstream large car sales – effectively the two segments have merged and the Insignia now holds third in class behind the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series.

The new car boasts a more aerodynamic shape than its predecessor – its visuals are evolved from the Monza concept car of 2013 and with a 0.26 drag factor that is claimed to be class leading.

   

Vauxhall Insignia brand manager Douglas McColm told The Car Expert that while the current Insignia in size and space sits between rivals the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb, the new car will be larger than the Superb and only just smaller than the BMW 5 Series.

It sits on a new vehicle architecture which cuts the car’s weight by up to 175kg. The wheelbase is extended by 92mm but with shorter overhangs, while the car’s track is extended by 11mm. The roof, however, is 29mm lower and the height of the driving position drops by a similar amount.Insignia-Grand-Sport-interior

Vauxhall is not yet revealing the Insignia’s engine line-up, stating only that they will all be latest-generation units. However we do know that an all-wheel-drive transmission with torque vectoring will be available, as will a new eight-speed auto gearbox.

Technology will feature heavily on the car, including LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up Display, front and rear-seat heating and a heated windshield. Infotainment and connectivity will be provided by the IntelliLink system and Vauxhall’s extensive OnStar personal assistant service.

And while the car now takes the name Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, the Grand Sport will not feature on the badging. An estate version will follow, the Sports Tourer.

Vauxhall expects to sell around 30,000 of the new Insignia Grand Sport in 2017. More than nine in every ten will be to fleet buyers, and diesel sales will dominate petrol by a similar percentage. McColm admits, however, that he expects some change in engine preferences in the future, with more buyers switching back to petrol.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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