29 November 2007

Death of the Vectra

Vauxhall kills off its repmobile and replaces it with sexier-sounding Insignia

Vauxhall Insignia

The Vectra is dead. Vauxhall announced today that its Mondeo-rivalling rep favourite will be replaced in the middle of next year by an all-new model called the Insignia.

Set to be unveiled at the London motor show in July 2008, the Insignia aims to shrug off the Vectra's staid image and move Vauxhall upmarket. 

But we don't know what it'll look like yet. The only clue Vauxhall would give us is the tiny teaser shot, which helpfully reveals that the Insignia will get at least one tail-light. 

However, we'd expect the Insignia to take a few styling cues from the GTC coupe concept we saw back in Geneva earlier this year - so expect a leap in interior quality and a focus on stronger, curved surfaces. 

In another move inspired by the GTC, the Insignia looks likely to get a VXR version with four-wheel drive and a 2.8-litre V6. We won't see the hot version until some time in 2010, but Vauxhall has been dropping strong hints that it'll develop 300bhp and get a limited-slip diff along with electronically controlled four-wheel drive.

A juicy prospect, but spare a thought for the ousted Vectra, a car that has sold over a million models in its 12-year lifespan. Will you miss it? Not even a little bit?

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