Ping! An email lands from Vauxhall inviting me to see their new corporate badge. Hardly electrifying stuff, but hang on a minute… There’s a top-secret preview of the new Insignia, too? Better book up my space on this exclusive trip fast.
This summer’s Vectra replacement is the most important Vauxhall for aeons and we’ve heard that it’s going to be radically different from today’s blandbox.
The rumours prove correct when GM’s European design boss Mark Adams whisks the covers off outside Opel’s Frankfurt design studio. Drum roll, please… It’s a looker!
The Insignia has the potential to shake up the D-sector currently ruled by the Mondeo and – reps rejoice – it’s the best-looking car in the class by a country mile. It reminds me of a shrunken Jag XF.
Forget the slab-sided solidity of today’s Vectra – this is a big step change. It’s worthy of not one but two different badges: farewell Vectra and old Vauxhall logo, welcome to the new Insignia name and a fresh, bolder griffin mascot.
“The reason for the change is to define the new-found confidence we feel the brand is now showing,” GM’s European design boss Mark Adams tells me.
“With today’s V-grille, the badge is apologetic. We wanted to make the emblem much stronger. It will be more integrated on all future Vauxhalls.”
It seems the D-sector has gone from dull to dashing in the space of a few short months (just look at the Citroen C5 and Ford Mondeo). Boring design is being consigned to the scrapheap in the family sector.
Best news of all? The Insignia is getting its world debut at this summer’s London motor show. Nearly one in two Vectras sold last year – 51,000 of them – were registered in the UK. Bravo GM for choosing to launch it over here too.
The Insignia will be 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 138bhp unit to a V6 with 258bhp. Two new 2.0-litre direct-injection diesel engines will be offered with power outputs of either 128bhp or 158bhp. Vauxhall is also planning to add an EcoFLEX fuel as well as some more powerful engines to the line-up.