18 April 2008

Au revoir, Vectra

Straight to the top of the corporate fleet wish list: it's the Vauxhall Insignia!

Vauxhall Badge

Bye bye, Vectra. Vauxhall has taken its ageing Mondeo-rival round the back of the farmhouse, loaded up the shotgun and given it both barrels. In the face.

Replacing it is this, the Insignia: a sleeker, far cooler take on the tired five-door formula. Set to be formally unveiled at the British Motor Show this July, the Insignia ends 20 years of Vectra naming and is the first Vauxhall to get the not-very-different new badge.

The Insignia carries over a few of the styling cues from the GTC concept we saw at the Geneva show last year, though that side blade has, predictably, been toned down.

Vauxhall describes the Insignia as 'muscular but lithe and curvaceous', which might be pushing the point a bit. But there's no doubting it's a good-looking thing.

No surprises in the engine department: the Insignia will launch with a pair of two-litre diesel engines with 128bhp and 158bhp, along with three petrol engines ranging from a 138bhp four-cylinder to a more meaty-sounding 256bhp V6. No VXR option yet, though - expect that to follow next year.

Until then, you'll have to make do with the choice of two- and four-wheel drive, fed by either a six-speed auto or six-speed manual 'box. Sorry, this is all a bit predictable, isn't it?

Then again, the old Vectra has always done predictable rather well. The Insignia might, just might, add a bit of excitement to the corporate sensibility. Here's hoping.


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