Vauxhall Insignia – in detail - Introduction
ON SALE November
YOU'LL LIKE Betters the Vectra in every way…
YOU WON'T …but it's a lot bigger
They were going to call it the Vectra. Jim Federico, who as project line director has the job of bringing the Insignia and 12 other cars based on it to production, says it was '50-50' for a while.
In the end, General Motors – the parent company of Vauxhall and its European counterpart, Opel – decided the new car represents such a change of mindset that it deserved a change of name.
It's even got a new version of Vauxhall's griffin badge.
You can forgive a degree of nervousness about the name-swap, particularly in the UK. The Vectra has been a huge success for Vauxhall, with 45% of all the car's European sales in this country.
Even last year, with the new Ford Mondeo to fend off, Vauxhall managed to shift nearly 51,000.
With the Insignia, GM is shedding the cosy, stodgy image that stuck to the Vectra throughout its life, and embarking on a new era of stylish exteriors and high-quality interiors.
Two features – the 'blade' cut into the front doors and the wing-shaped dash – will become signatures, to be included on all future GM Europe cars, starting with next year's new Astra.
The coupé-like roofline was inspired by the GTC concept from 2007, and is carried on to the Insignia hatchback, saloon and – to some extent – estate.
It will be seen in more extreme form in 2009 on the high-performance Insignia VXR.